Child sex abuse suspect faces new charges

Child sex abuse suspect faces new charges »Play Video
Steven Rockett appears in court on Tuesday.

FOREST GROVE, Ore. – A man who detectives say sexually abused underage children in Washington County faces new charges in the case.

Steven Rockett appeared in court again on Tuesday. He faces new charges, including two counts of first degree sex abuse, unlawful sexual penetration and using a child in display of sexually explicit misconduct.

Detectives said Rockett sexually abused three sisters while their family was homeless and living with him in Beaverton in 2011. The new charges are in connection with one of the sisters. Prosecutors said Rockett abused the girl several times while she was between the ages of 11 and 13.

Washington County detectives said they suspected Steven Rockett of sexually abusing underage children for 14 years. They said they never had enough evidence to charge him with a crime until last Thursday. That’s when another one of the sisters 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 pleaded not guilty to rape (second degree), sodomy and sex abuse charges on Monday.

KATU on Tuesday spoke with a 19-year-old boy and his mother who were Rockett's neighbors in Beaverton in 2005. They said they filed a police report in 2005 after Rockett asked the boy to take off all of his clothes.

"He tried to make it where we'd do stuff for his cameras," said the 19-year-old, who spoke with KATU on condition on anonymity. "That's what he kept throwing in. 'Make sure you get it on camera.'"

The 19-year-old's mother told KATU that police came to their home to speak with Rockett.

"They came and talked, and talked and talked. Apparently not enough evidence to convict," she said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office confimed that the family filed a police report, but declined to release the details.

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

Rockett’s next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4. The court on Tuesday tripled Rockett’s bail to $1.5 million.

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