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Youth leader could clear his record

The on-again, off-again case against a former Oak Harbor youth leader accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a teenager has been resolved in a rather unique way this week.

Roosevelt Rumble, 47, agreed to a stipulated order of continuance. He had been charged in Island County District Court with one count of sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree. The charge alleged that Rumble abused a supervisory position in a relationship with a 16-year-old girl in order to have sexual contact with her.

Colleen Kenimond, chief criminal deputy with the Island County Prosecutor’s Office, explained that the agreement between both sides means that the case will be continued for two years on certain conditions. Rumble will have to receive a sexual deviance evaluation within 30 days. If treatment is recommended, he will have to begin treatment within 30 days of receiving the evaluation.

Kenimond said Rumble will basically be on probation for the two-year period.

If Rumble follows all the conditions, the case will be dismissed in two years. If he doesn’t, a judge will decide his guilt based upon the stipulated record, which includes the police report. Rumble has given up his right to a jury trial.

One of the benefits of the agreement, Kenimond said, is that it saves the alleged victim, Hanna Swayzer, from having to take the stand.

“The state is satisfied that the community is protected with this agreement,” Kenimond said.

The alleged victim and her family are also happy with the resolution.

“I’m glad that Mr. Rumble is finally being held accountable for his actions and getting the help that he needs,” Hanna Swayzer said.

Yet Rumble’s attorney, Terry Smith of Oak Harbor, emphasized that Rumble has not pleaded guilty to anything.

“There’s no guilty plea or admission of guilt,” Smith said.

Rumble is well known in the Oak Harbor community for his advocacy on behalf of children. A former Navy man, 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 director.

Rumble resigned from the Boys and Girls Club in 2006 to become the pastor at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church. He was fired because of allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Rumble was originally charged with fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, but the Oak Harbor prosecutor dismissed the charge. The Island County prosecutor then picked up the case.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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