Dick Dasen, the United Way’s “community hero” only last year for helping the needy in Kalispell, has admitted to police that he was having sex with many women who came to him for assistance. That’s according to court documents just unsealed in the case that has shocked this city.
The documents revealed that police set up surveillance equipment in a motel room in a sting operation last month against Dasen, perhaps Kalispell’s most prominent business and civic leader. Detectives burst into the room and caught Dasen about to have sex-for-cash with a woman-turned-informant, according to the documents.
Police have said Dasen paid $1 million for sex over the past 20 years, and investigators said Dasen told them that the number of women was “too many to count.”
In police custody, Dasen “admitted that he believes he has a problem” and that he had been having sex with many of the down-and-out women he was supposedly helping, the documents said. Charities in Kalispell have referred the needy to Dasen for years for financial help and “Christian” counseling.
“These women would do anything for money,” a worker for one charity told the Independent. “Some of them were in jeopardy of losing their kids or of being thrown out on the street. I’d hate to think that Dick Dasen took advantage of them.”
To police, Dasen denied involvement with drugs. But one police informant said Dasen allowed guests to produce methamphetamine on his boat on Flathead Lake. Others said he gave meth to women for sex, according to the court documents.
The revelations should help silence criticism that police are unfairly targeting Dasen. Police have acknowledged that they were inundated with complaints after Dasen was arrested a month ago on a single misdemeanor count of soliciting prostitution. Even after Dasen, 61, was charged two weeks later with the felony rape of a 15-year-old girl, an executive with Budget Finance, a company that Dasen partly owns, accused police of carrying out “a vendetta against Dick Dasen.” In a news release, company Vice President Dean Jellison said Dasen had been charged merely “with having behaved badly.”