'Every parent’s nightmare': North Dakota man sentenced for sexual contact with 6 girls he met online

In some cases, Dawson Rouse asked victims to send him nude photos or videos of themselves, according to prosecutors.

dawson Rouse.jpg
Dawson Mackenzie Rouse.
Burleigh Morton Detention Center photo

BISMARCK — A judge handed down a 30-year prison sentence Tuesday, June 21, to a Bismarck man accused of communicating with hundreds of girls online and having sexual contact with six of them.

“This is an 'every parent’s nightmare' type of case, one which should serve as a warning about the real dangers that exist on many of the social media platforms used by children," said North Dakota's interim U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Dawson Mackenzie Rouse, 23, of Bismarck, on 15 counts of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity and six counts of receipt of child pornography.

Along with federal prison time, Hovland sentenced Rouse to 30 years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $3,000 to one of the victims.

Bismarck police learned about the case when a parent reported that her adolescent daughter and her friend sneaked out at night and met with a man later identified as Rouse, according to prosecutors.


An investigation found that Rouse had been communicating with hundreds of underage girls he met through the social media platform Snapchat.

Rouse, who posed as a younger person, coerced and enticed or tried to coerce and entice 21 victims, ages 12 to 16, to either send him sexual images and videos or to meet with him for sexual contact, prosecutors said.

In some cases, Rouse asked victims to send him nude photos or videos of themselves and then he asked them to meet for sexual activity, according to prosecutors.

Some victims sent Rouse "self-produced child pornography," and six of them met with him and engaged in sexual acts, prosecutors said.

Rouse, who pleaded guilty to the charges, told authorities he had a sex addiction, according to court documents.

"Rouse has taken it upon himself to attempt to reset his life," his attorney Michael Hoffman said in a court filing. "Rouse recognized he needs sex offender treatment and has mental health issues, and stated he is interested in fully complying with treatment and counseling."

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