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Utah sex offender accused of sexually assaulting teen girl while on federal probation

A man previously convicted in federal court of possessing child pornography is now facing new charges for allegedly abusing a teen girl he worked with, according to prosecutors.

A man previously convicted in federal court of possessing child pornography is now facing new charges for allegedly abusing a teen girl he worked with, according to prosecutors. (Yukai Peng, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A registered sex offender in Utah who was on federal probation when he allegedly abused a teen girl is facing new charges.

James Michael Rouse, 36, of Salt Lake City, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 17-year-old girl, a third-degree felony; and enticing a minor, a class A misdemeanor.

The girl and Rouse worked at the same restaurant, according to charging documents, and began communicating after work with each other through text messages and social media. She told investigators that "she developed feelings for Rouse," the charges state.

After confessing she had developed feelings for him, Rouse "started telling her that she was his best friend, she could talk to him about anything, he sees her as a woman, and didn't see her as the age she was," according to charging documents. Prosecutors believe Rouse "groomed the victim until he got the desired effect, then he sexually assaulted her."

He "was super affectionate with her" at work and "would kiss her where there were blind spots in the cameras, he took her into the freezer to kiss her," the charges state

The girl went over to Rouse's residence multiple times in November, where Rouse inappropriately touched her, according to the charges. He was arrested soon after.

In December 2018, Rouse was charged in 2nd District Court with several counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, accusing him of possessing child pornography at his home in Kaysville. The state charges were later dismissed in lieu of federal charges being filed.

In 2019, Rouse was convicted on a federal charge of possessing child pornography. His prison time was to be followed by 15 years of supervised release.

One of the conditions of his federal probation states that Rouse is "restricted from contact with individuals who are under 18 years of age without adult supervision, as approved by the U.S. Probation Office," according to court records.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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