In the end, the vast amounts of money and sex Dick Dasen so thoroughly entwined in his life proved impossible to disentangle. The Missoula jury that found Dasen liable for assault and battery and awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages—for Dasen’s molestation of a 16-year-old after paying her and her best friend to fondle each other in a Kalispell apartment—also awarded the girl $2 million in punitive damages Dec. 12. The requested and granted sum, plaintiff’s attorney Monte Beck said, was a symbolic figure based on the amount Dasen paid out over five years to women with whom he had sex, though he’s consistently denied a causal relationship. During the trial, Dasen denied harming the girl, reiterating after the jury found him guilty that, “I didn’t do what she said I did, legal or otherwise.”
During the trial, Beck focused on Dasen’s refusal to take responsibility, saying only extreme monetary punishment could capture his attention.
“He abused his power and his wealth and in turn used that money to corrupt a young lady,” Beck said. “You just want to do something to make him come out of denial.”
The former Kalispell business leader found guilty in May of prostitution charges and felony sexual abuse of children is now serving his 20-year sentence, with all but two years suspended.
Dasen’s lawyer, John Bohyer, argued the self-made millionaire has lost all his assets since his arrest and is struggling to pay even his legal fees. Dasen owes $2.4 million in state and federal taxes, Bohyer said, and divested himself of numerous properties, businesses and stocks after his arrest because he was forced to.
Beck, though, presented evidence that Dasen’s net worth was $5.2 million just two months before his arrest and questioned where the money went. After the verdict, Beck said he’s filing another suit alleging Dasen fraudulently transferred assets to hide them. “We don’t know if we’ll ever collect it,” Beck says. “But even if she never sees a dime and we don’t get paid anything, it’s worth it.”