United States Attorney Drew H. Wrigley announced that Dawson M. Rouse of Bismarck, ND, has been indicted on 13 additional federal charges, appeared in Federal Court at an initial appearance and arraignment hearing on a Superseding Indictment on September 8, 2020. The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota unsealed a Superseding Indictment revealing that a federal grand jury indicted Rouse on thirteen additional counts in addition to the twenty-seven felony counts of Sexual Exploitation of Minors (Thirteen counts of Sexual Exploitation of Minors or attempted Sexual Exploitation of Minors; Ten counts of Coercion or Enticement of Minors, and Four counts of Transfer of Obscene Material to Minors under 16 years of age) that Rouse was previously Indicted for. At Rouse’s hearing, the court ordered Rouse to remain in detention pending trial on this matter.
Previously, the Grand Jury alleged that Rouse caused or attempted to cause the production of images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors; used the internet to arrange or attempt to arrange meeting with minors for the purposes of sexual misconduct; and sent obscene images to 15 minors under the age of 16. In the Superseding Indictment the Grand Jury further alleged that Rouse received images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors and further added seven additional allegations that Rouse caused or attempted to cause the production of images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors; used the internet to arrange or attempt to arrange meeting with minors for the purposes of sexual misconduct; and finally, sent obscene images to several minors under the age of 16 involving three additional victims.
Allegedly, the minor female victims described similar conduct by Rouse, in that he would friend them on Snapchat and begin conversations with them and Rouse eventually turned the conversation to sex. Rouse harassed the minor victims until they sent him nude photographs or videos of themselves, then Rouse harassed them to meet him so they could have sex. Several of the victims sent nude pictures and videos of themselves to Rouse and six of the victims met with him at his residence and engaged in sexual acts with Rouse.
“The defendant stands accused of 40 felony crimes of various ghastly sexual intrusions into the lives of 18 minors,” said US Attorney Drew Wrigley, “and this remains an active and engaged criminal investigation.” An Indictment is an accusation and notice of charges, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Bismarck Police Department and Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Delorme.