A 27-year-old Washington State Patrol (WSP) employee was arrested Tuesday night on investigation of attempted child rape, after showing up at a Kirkland hotel room where he expected to find two children but was instead met by a SWAT team, according to Seattle police.
The man was arrested in a sting operation by the Seattle Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children squad, says an item posted on the department's online blotter. Jail records show he was booked into the King County Jail at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The Seattle Times is not naming the man because he has not yet been criminally charged. During the man's first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, a judge set bail at $150,000, according to King County prosecutors.
The man worked for the Patrol as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned to the school bus inspection program, a prosecutors' spokesperson said, based on information provided by the Patrol. No children were present when he conducted safety inspections on the buses.
The probable cause statement outlining the Seattle police case against the 27-year-old says he responded to an ad placed by an undercover officer on Feb. 18 and communicated with her through Tuesday. He believed he was trading graphic messages with the mother of two girls, ages 6 and 11, and offered the woman sexual access to his 9-month-old son, the statement says.
The man, who lives in Everett, met the undercover officer for dinner in Kirkland Tuesday night, then went to buy condoms before meeting up with her at a hotel, says the statement.
Police say following his arrest, the man admitted he has long had a sexual interest in children but had never acted on it, according to the probable cause statement.
In a statement about the man's arrest, Patrol Sgt. Darren Wright said the employee has immediately been removed from his duties and will be subject to an administrative investigation.
"As parents and Washingtonians ourselves, we are shocked and deeply disappointed by these serious and significant allegations. To ensure a fair and transparent process, WSP cannot and will not be involved in the investigation, and will defer any inquiries about the investigation to the Seattle Police Department," Wright wrote in the statement.
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