Prosecutors call 166 witnesses in trial over camp solicitations

The trial of a Medford couple accused of sending their children out to fraudulently solicit funds for a volleyball camp is under way today in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors have subpeoned 166 witnesses in their case against Carly and Laramie Torres, who they allege sent their children door to door through neighborhoods for more than a year requesting donations to help fund Carly Torres' daughter's trip to a volleyball camp.

Instead of sending the girl to camp, prosecutors say, the couple spent the money on weekend trips to the movies or monster truck rallies.

The parents and children allegedly canvassed neighborhoods in Medford, Ashland and Eagle Point from late 2006 through 2007. Small amounts were collected from hundreds of victims in amounts ranging from pocket change to $40, said District Attorney Karen Loomis.

The scam had been going on for months before a suspicious resident phoned Medford police, she said.

Carly Torres, 35, is charged with unlawful use of a computer, three counts of third-degree theft and nine counts of second-degree theft. Laramie Torres, 33, is charged with unlawful use of a computer, one count of third-degree theft and one count of second-degree theft.

Police said Carly Torres, usually accompanied by her oldest daughter, presented the victims with a flier featuring NBC (Volleyball) Camps of eastern Oregon. The request for funds came with a coupon for a free car wash, which victims were told could be redeemed after they received a postcard naming the car wash and dates of use, Fitzgerald said.

— Sanne Specht

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