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Gustafson plea entry delayed to April 28th


A Bend judge agreed Wednesday to delay the plea entry by gymnastics facility founder and co-owner Richard Gustafson on sex abuse and encouraging abuse charges after his defense lawyer requested more time.

Richard Bridgeman Gustafson made a brief appearance before Deschutes County Circuit Judge Barbara Haslinger, who set a new plea entry date of April 28th.

Last Friday, Gustafson was released from jail on reduced bail a second time after additional charges of sex abuse and drug possession were filed last month.

Jail officials said Gustafson was released Friday night after posting the remaining $30,000 of his $50,000 bail total, 10 percent of the $500,000 bail amount set Feb. 24 at his arraignment before Circuit Judge Stephen Forte.

Gustafson, who founded Acrovision Sports Center, originally was arrested in early January, accused of abusing two girls, ages 8 and 9, during a New Year’s Eve sleepover party. Days later, the charges were upgraded to nine counts of first-degree sex abuse after two other alleged victims came forward.

A judge lowered Gustafson’s bail from $300,000 to $200,000 and he was released from jail in mid-January. He was placed under house arrest and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device and other conditions.

Gustafson was re-arrested Feb. 14 on 126 new first- and second-degree counts of encouraging sex abuse, as well as a new first-degree sex abuse charge and one count of drug possession. He was lodged on $1.34 million bail.

On Feb. 24, appearing before Forte on video hookup from the jail, Forte set bail at $500,000. Prosecutors had asked that the bail remain at over $1 million, due to the new charges and additional alleged victims.

Haslinger did add some new restrictions Wednesday to Gustafson’s house arrest, stating that he is to have no Internet access whatsoever, by computer, smartphone or other means.

The previously imposed conditions were kept in place for when he posted bail, which along with GPS tracking and house arrest include no contact with minors except for his own child, turning in his pilot’s license, not leaving the state and not going to Acrovision or other places where minors congregate.

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