A former Kennewick school superintendent has been charged in federal court with arranging a “hook up” with two teen girls at a Richland hotel.
Paul W. Rosier, 75, faces one count of attempted child sex trafficking in U.S. District Court.
In a 20-minute hearing Wednesday at the Yakima federal courthouse, Rosier was granted release with several conditions.
He must wear a GPS device, turn over his passport, stay off the Internet and not travel outside of Washington state without prior permission.
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Rosier, who lives in Olympia, also has a home in Arizona. He retired in 2014 as executive director of the Washington Association of School Administrators — eight years after leaving the Kennewick School District.
Rosier, who has been locked up since Saturday, will be released to a relative Thursday in Yakima. He then has six hours to report to the U.S. Probation Office in Tacoma to get the GPS device installed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Hanlon fought to keep Rosier behind bars without bail, since the alleged crime involved a minor.
However, defense attorney Scott Johnson pointed out Rosier’s lengthy work history in education and that there’s no indication anything close to these allegations have happened before.
“It’s very early on in the case, and it looks like this is a more complicated case than it might appear at first blush,” Johnson, of Richland, told the Herald.
Rosier did not enter a plea Wednesday. He returns to court April 12.
The federal charge carries a minimum of 15 years in prison with the possibility of life.
In a 12-page criminal complaint, Rosier told a Kennewick police detective he’d been arrested at the Hampton Inn “because I am stupid.”
Rosier said he was in town for business, that the phone on his person was only used by him and that it was “just an impulsive thing,” the complaint said.
Rosier then requested a lawyer when Detective Bill Dramis asked what he did.
Investigators say Rosier’s arrest came after exchanging text messages over a three-day period with a 16-year-old girl.
What Rosier didn’t know at the time is the teen actually was Dramis, who had assumed the identity of “a cooperative minor sex trafficking victim” on a social media application, the complaint said.
Rosier was told that the teen had a 13-year-old friend, who would be available to meet with him during a weekend trip to the Tri-Cities.
He initially insisted he wanted someone of legal age, then agreed to the encounter. The complaint says the 13-year-old girl did not exist.
In the text messages, Rosier said he was looking for a “hook up” and used specific lingo to indicate what he wanted the girl to do while they were together, the complaint said.
He alleged that he found the teen’s number on Craigslist, and at one point questioned if she was a cop while stating that he was not.
He suggested they meet away from his hotel “so if we don’t like what we see we can just walk away,” the complaint said.
Rosier allegedly planned to pay $160 to the 13-year-old for having sex with him, and $40 to the older teen for setting it up.
After he sent a text saying he was leaving his room to meet the girls in the hotel parking lot, police made contact with him in the lobby, the complaint said.
He reportedly had on him the exact amount of money that was agreed to. He was arrested by agents with Homeland Security Investigations and the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force, along with Richland and Kennewick police.
Rosier was released into the custody of federal marshals just before noon Wednesday once federal Magistrate Judge James P. Hutton signed off on the attempted trafficking charge.