Rasmussen could face more charges

Rasmussen could face more charges

The legal and social fallout continues for a prominent Medford man accused of committing online sex crimes with minors.

Kelly Rasmussen, 47, was arrested in Portland Tuesday and later arraigned on two counts of first-degree online sexual corruption of a minor.

The case remains under investigation and other charges still may be filed, said Michael Regan, Clackamas County senior deputy district attorney.

"I don't know how many charges will come out of this," Regan said. "We will present the two most serious charges against Rasmussen at the grand jury. And we will also present more than that."

Rasmussen is accused of having engaged in sexually explicit online chat with police officers he believed to be 11- and 13-year-old girls, and then driving to Portland to meet with them, said Regan.

"He was arrested at the meeting site," Regan said.

The combination of the two alleged actions — engaging in online sexual discussions with a minor (or an undercover police officer) and then "taking a substantial step to meet with that child" — supports charging Rasmussen with the most serious of the three new online laws against sexual predators enacted in January, Regan said.

Second-degree online corruption of a minor requires the adult to engage in sexually explicit communication with a minor and an offer to meet — but not acting upon that offer. The lesser of the online charges, luring a minor, involves engaging in sexually explicit online communication which can include sharing sexually explicit photos or videos, Regan said.

Rasmussen's family, friends and colleagues continue to express their shock and sadness at the allegations against him.

Newscasts showed a police video of a shaken but cooperative Rasmussen being arrested by officers in an undisclosed location in Portland Tuesday afternoon. The high-profile community volunteer was arraigned by video Wednesday from a Clackamas County Jail holding cell.

The father of three was president of the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament and a past president of the Rogue Valley Country Club board. He is a member of the Medford Linebackers Booster Club and the Medford Rogue Rotary Club.

For the past 15 years, Rasmussen has been a broadcaster for Table Rock Sports Productions, providing color commentary for South and North Medford high school football and basketball games. Rasmussen will not be involved with any future high school broadcasts "until further notice," said Joe Brett, vice president of the production company.

Brett was stunned to hear of Rasmussen's arrest in Clackamas County — particularly because of the nature of the charges, he said.

"I'm as shocked as anyone," Brett said. "I never had any indication of anything being wrong. And I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Just like anyone is who has known and loved Kelly."

Brett has left phone messages for Rasmussen. He has not yet heard back. But hopes to soon, he said.

"I asked him to call me when he's ready to talk," Brett said.

Rasmussen has not returned calls from the Mail Tribune.

The Britt Festivals board of directors Wednesday night suspended Rasmussen pending formal resolution of the charges, said Rick Hood, executive director.

Rasmussen is the vice president of Jackson Travel in Medford. His father, David Rasmussen, is the president of the company. The senior Rasmussen was semi-retired prior to Wednesday's news. David Rasmussen did not want to speak about his son, but said he did want to assure clients he himself will be available at the business during this family crisis.

"We are here if anybody needs anything," David Rasmussen said Wednesday.

Police originally cited Rasmussen on seven counts of first- and second-degree online sexual corruption of a minor and two counts of luring a minor.

Rasmussen was held on $155,000 bail. He was released on his own recognizance because of his strong ties to the community, Regan said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Nov. 20 in Clackamas County.

Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation. Those with any information about the case are asked to call the task force at 423-1315.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail

Share This Story