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Charges revived against youth leader

The Island County Prosecutor’s Office charged former Oak Harbor youth leader Roosevelt Rumble last Friday with one count of sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree.

The charge, a gross misdemeanor, alleges that Rumble, 47, abused a supervisory position in a relationship with a 16-year-old girl in order to have sexual contact with her. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between October, 2006 and July, 2007 while Rumble was senior pastor of the New Missionary Church. The victim was a member of the congregation.

Oak Harbor police had previously charged the former executive director of the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club with fourth degree assault with sexual motivation, arising out of the same alleged incidents. The city attorney, however, dismissed the charge in October.

“I discussed the case with former City Attorney Phil Blehyl, and he encouraged me to review it for filing in District or Superior Court,” County Prosecutor Greg Banks said in a news release. “My office has much more experience dealing with sex offenses, and I agreed to review the case.”

Banks said the new charge is a truer representation of the alleged criminal conduct.

“I think the city attorney made the right call in dismissing the assault charge, given the posture of the case at that time,” Banks continued. “This is a more appropriate charge than the one initially charged by police. It more accurately describes the criminal conduct, and, unlike the previous charge, will require Mr. Rumble to register as a sex offender if convicted.”

The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Rumble will be arraigned Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 1:30 p.m. in District Court in Oak Harbor.

The News-Times was unable to contact Rumble for comment. The phone number he provided the prosecutor’s office has been disconnected.

Rumble resigned from the Boys and Girls Club last year to become the pastor at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church. Rumble is no longer employed at the church.

He has long been an advocate for children in the community. He started volunteering in 1996 with the Partnership with Youth, which later became the Boys and Girls Club. He helped organize events and was eventually named to the group’s board.

Rumble took the position of director in 1999. Prior to that, he enjoyed a career in the Navy.

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