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Press Release

Bismarck, ND, Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Minor Female Children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

BISMARCK – Interim United States Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl announced that U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Dawson Rouse, Age 23 of Bismarck, ND, to 30 years in federal prison for the charges of 15 counts of Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Unlawful Sexual Activity and six count of Receipt of Child Pornography. Judge Hovland also sentenced Rouse to 30 years of supervised release. Rouse was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000.00 to one of the child victims.

This case came to the attention of law enforcement after a concerned parent reported to the Bismarck Police Department that her adolescent-age daughter and her friend snuck out of the family residence in the middle of the night and met with an adult male, later identified as Dawson Rouse. An investigation revealed that Rouse had been communicating with hundreds of minor females he met through the social media platform, Snapchat. Rouse, after identifying as someone closer in age to them, coerced and enticed or attempted to coerce and entice 21 minor victims between the ages of twelve and sixteen years to either send Rouse sexually exploitive images and videos or to meet with him for unlawful sexual conduct. In many of the cases, Rouse harassed the minor victims to send him nude photographs or videos of themselves, after which Rouse harassed them to meet for the purpose of sexual activity. Several of the victims sent Rouse self-produced child pornography and six of the victims met with Rouse and engaged in sexual acts with him.

Following sentencing, Interim United States Attorney Jennifer K. Puhl said "this is an "every parent’s nightmare" type of case, one in which should serve as a warning about the real dangers that exist on many of the social media platforms used by children."

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Delorme and investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and Bismarck Police Department.

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Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7458

Updated June 21, 2022