BY KERRY EGGERS/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Ex-City of Portland tennis director guilty of online chats with young girls

Zach Rouse and his attorney, Mike Curtis, both spoke of the future during Rouse's sentencing hearing Monday at the Multnomah County Courthouse.

Rouse, a former tennis director for the City of Portland, was handed a 48-month prison sentence by Circuit Judge Karin J. Immergut.

On April 26, Rouse, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree and attempted encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree. Each of the four counts represented a separate minor female victim with whom Rouse had communicated via online chats.

Rouse, who has been incarcerated at Multnomah County Detention Center since April 2016, will be given credit for time served. He received one year for each of the case's four victims, who all live out of state.

A news release statement from the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said the sentencing resulted from an investigation that began Sept. 19, 2015, after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from an online dating website. The tip was sent to the Portland Police Bureau, and Cory Stenzel, Sex Crimes Unit detective, led the investigation.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero said "the conversations he (Rouse) had with these children were among the most disturbing and reprehensible that we as law enforcement see."

Rouse will be under three years of post-prison supervision upon his release and is on probation for five years, with conditions of supervision specifically tailored to sex offenders. Rouse is to pay a $300 fine for each of his four victims and must register as a sex offender for life.

"I'm deeply sorry for the errors in judgment on my part," Rouse told the judge, with his mother, Ann Rouse, and his younger brother, Matt Rouse, looking on in the courtroom. "But I look to the future knowing I want to make the changes necessary for me to succeed through the rest of my life. I will strive to be successful in everything I do, and to be a positive and productive member of our community moving forward."

Curtis said he hopes this will provide a new beginning for his client.

"In a case like this, there are multiple tragedies," Curtis said. "It's very sad. But what we have here is the possibility of hope for the future, for change and perhaps even a little bit of redemption. Zach looks forward to the future, and I look forward to it, too."

  • The Portland Tribune wrote about Rouse's story in its Sept. 5, 2017 edition:

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