Changes in Gustafson sex abuse case

Number of child pornography charges reduced

By Tyler Leeds / The Bulletin

The number of charges against a Bend man accused of sexually abusing children at his former business was reduced Monday, as Deschutes County prosecutors determined some of the child pornography the man allegedly viewed may have been seen out of the state.

Richard Gustafson, 49, a former co-owner of Acrovision Sports Center, was originally arrested Jan. 8 on suspicion of abusing two girls at a New Year’s Eve sleepover at the gymnastics and martial arts center. As more allegations of abuse emerged, Gustafson was charged with 11 counts of first-degree sex abuse, four counts of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse, 122 counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse and possession of cocaine. According to court documents, the 122 counts of encouraging child sex abuse were reduced to 22 counts Monday.

Gustafson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“There’s the possibility he might have viewed some of the child porn in Colorado, or he might have just been out of the state,” said Deputy District Attorney Jon Char. “The charges I have now, there’s definitely stronger evidence it was here.”

The amended indictment will also allow the state to combine what had previously been two cases against Gustafson into one.

“A big part of the decision to combine was that earlier I wasn’t quite sure if it would be too complicated dealing with the 122 counts of child porn and the other counts,” Char said. “But what prompted me to do this now is that since some of the counts may have occurred outside the state, I’ll have less charges and it will be less complicated.”

Char also said combining the cases will save time and money for the District Attorney’s Office.

“The convenience and judicial economy are a big part of it,” he said.

A trial is scheduled for Oct. 28. Gustafson has pleaded not guilty to the sex abuse charges and has yet to enter a plea on the remaining charges, according to the Oregon Judicial Information Network.

In January, Gustafson was released from jail after posting 10 percent of his $200,000 bail, according to Bulletin archives. He was ordered by Deschutes Circuit Judge Roger DeHoog to have no contact with the parents of any Acrovision students and any minors other than his 10-year-old son. He was also placed under house arrest and subject to GPS monitoring.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, tleeds@bendbulletin.com