Man snared in child sex trafficking operation inspected school buses for Washington State Patrol
A Washington State Patrol employee has been arrested and accused of two counts of attempted child rape.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday night and is being held in the King County Jail. He has not been charged yet.
The suspect conducted safety inspections on school buses in a garage with no children present, the Washington State Patrol said. After learning of his arrest, the agency removed him from duties and the department plans to investigate for any potential policy violations.
“Working for WSP in any capacity is an honor and privilege and we are held by the public, our industry, and ourselves to the highest standards of behavior and trust,” the agency wrote in a news release. “Any act that would fall beneath those standards and compromise our commitment to keeping all members of the public safe and respected is a serious betrayal of that trust.”
The arrest comes after the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit began an online investigation last week, according to police records. The investigation was targeted at people involved in the sexual exploitation of minors.
The unit posted an advertisement on social media and police said the Washington State Patrol employee contacted an undercover detective online. The two of them had a lengthy conversation back and forth before meeting at a Shari’s restaurant in Kirkland on Feb. 23.
The undercover detective told the suspect that her two daughters were at a nearby hotel. Seattle police arrested the suspect after he entered a hotel room, condoms in hand, with the undercover detective, according to police records.
The employee planned to engage in sexual relations with an 11-year-old and a 6-year-old, according to police documents. The suspect said he offered to provide his 9-month-old son to the undercover detective to perform sex acts on, according to the police documents.
At the suspect’s first appearance in court today, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office argued there was probable cause for two instances of attempted rape of a child.
The judge set the man’s bail at $150,000. The man has not yet been charged. Case documents required before a felony case filing can happen have not been referred to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
KUOW does not typically name people before they have been charged.
A spokesperson with the prosecutor’s office said this is not uncommon for cases the day following an arrest. They anticipate that the case will soon be referred to their office for an independent review, and a felony case filing decision should come by Friday.