Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joel Patrick Courtney

Bad Actor

Joel Patrick Courtney of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, is no stranger to the law. Just five months before being arrested for this abduction and sexual assault, his twelve-year-old son called the police on him for domestic violence against Courtney's wife. But it had started long before.

Courtney, born June 2, 1966 in Beaverton, Oregon, attended both Beaverton and Sunset High Schools. He left school in 1984. In 1985, he was charged with attempted rape and first-degree sex abuse in Oregon's Washington County.

Joel Courtney in 1985
Joel Courtney in 1985

On the night of that assault, he'd been drinking beer, smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine with a female friend from school. She was driving him home when he started to kiss and fondle her. When she pushed him away and told him to stop, he punched her, yanked her out of the car, threw her to the gravel, and pulled off her jeans and panties and unzipped his pants.

She stopped fighting, and he lost interest.

She went to the police when she found out he had done similar things in the past. They were both eighteen.

He pled guilty to first-degree sex abuse and received a three-month jail sentence and five years of probation. He subsequently violated probation and spent two and a half years in state prison.

According to Dianna Rodgers, LCSW, adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, "Rarely is an offender caught the first time he offends. Chances are, he had quite a juvenile record of assaultive behavior with some sexual component to it."

Joel Courtney in 1991
Joel Courtney in 1991

His list of infractions are lengthy, including felonies, misdemeanors and various other violations, but the one that is of the most interest is his drunk driving violation in January of 2004.


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