Civic leader receives sentence

Medford's Rasmussen gets 2 months in jail, 5 years probation for online sex crimes

A well-known Medford civic leader was sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty to committing online sex crimes with two undercover police officers whom he believed to be minor girls.

Kelly Rasmussen, 47, was handcuffed and taken from Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City Friday afternoon to begin serving his two-month jail sentence after being convicted of two counts of first-degree online sexual corruption of a minor, said Michael Regan, a Clackamas County senior deputy district attorney.

"He's in jail right now," Regan said.

Rasmussen also was sentenced to five years probation, must register as a sex offender, attend sex-offender treatment programs, have no contact with minors and pay more than $1,000 in fines.

"Judge Robert Selander ruled that if (Rasmussen) violated any terms of the probation, he would be facing 36 months in prison," said Regan, adding Rasmussen made no substantive statements at the sentencing.

Rasmussen pleaded guilty to the two most serious charges on Feb. 19. The three other second-degree counts of the same charge were dismissed as a part of Rasmussen's plea agreement, Regan said.

Rasmussen, who has no prior criminal history, was seen by a psychologist prior to sentencing and his polygraph testing shows he has not committed sexual acts against children, he said.

Regan said the state agreed to the plea bargain based on the results of the test and the psychologist's evaluation.

Rasmussen was arrested Oct. 21, 2008, in Portland after engaging in sexually explicit online chat with police officers whom he believed to be 11- and 13-year-old girls, and then driving to Portland to meet them. He was arrested by officers from Intercept, a multi-agency child exploitation prevention team, as he was "poised to meet with his 13-year-old female victim," according to police.

Rasmussen was arrested at the second location he visited while attempting to meet with an underage girl during the sting operation, Regan said.

Regan said the combination of Rasmussen's actions — engaging in online sexual discussions with a minor (or an undercover police officer) and then taking a substantial step to meet that child — supported charging him with the most serious of three new laws against online sexual predators that were enacted in January 2008.

A divorced father of three, Rasmussen is the vice president of Jackson Travel in Medford. He was president of the Southern Oregon Golf Tournament and a past president of the Rogue Valley Country Club. He is a member of the Medford Linebackers Club and the Medford Rogue Rotary Club.

The Britt Festivals suspended Rasmussen from its board of directors after news of his arrest surfaced. He no longer broadcasts for Table Rock Sports Productions, where he provided color commentary for South and North Medford high school football and basketball games for 15 years.

Children's Advocacy Director Marlene Mish said both Rasmussen's actions and his conviction should serve as a wake-up call to the community.

"It is rarely the random stranger who is the danger to our children," Mish said. "The vast majority of the time it is someone whom we know and whom we trust."

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

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