Man pleads not guilty in child sex abuse case

Man pleads not guilty in child sex abuse case »Play Video
Steven Rockett appears in court on Monday.

FOREST GROVE, Ore. – It was an arrest detectives waited 14 years to make.

Washington County detectives said they suspected Steven Rockett of sexually abusing underage children for years, but they never had enough evidence to charge him with a crime until Thursday. That’s when a teenage girl told her mother that Rockett raped her two years ago and recently asked her for nude photos on Facebook.

Detectives arrested Rockett on Friday at his Forest Grove home. He faces charges including rape (second degree), sodomy and sex abuse.

“Even though you suspect someone, you think, boy, with today’s communication and electronics, and you know there's probably information in their computers. You can't just go get a search warrant for their computer on assumptions. You really have to have some good evidence,” said Sgt. Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Rockett pleaded not guilty on Monday. He’s still at the Washington County Jail where he’s being held on $500,000 bail.

Detectives said Rockett abused the girl and her two sisters while their family was homeless and living with in Beaverton in 2011.

“We had to be very, very sure in our evidence and witness statements,” Ray said.

Investigators seized his computer. They said they will reach out to police in Asia, where Rockett has traveled several times over the years.

KATU found photos of young girls in The Philippines on Rockett’s Facebook page.

Detectives are searching for more victims. Anyone with information about Rockett is asked to call Washington County detectives at 503-846-2500.