Child sex sting press conference in Richland
One man told a 13-year-old girl she was too young to be looking for sex online and offered to be her friend, then allegedly changed his mind and agreed to play with her if it was by his rules.
Another claimed it was too good to be true to be meeting up with a 13-year-old girl, and later told police he only showed up so he could tell the runaway to go back home.
And a third walked into a Richland apartment intending to perform sex acts on three siblings — ages 6, 11 and 13 — after making arrangements with their mother, according to court documents.
The allegations against the remaining 18 men arrested in the Tri-Cities Net Nanny operation show the different tactics undercover detectives used to ensnare the would-be perpetrators, and the responses from those who took the bait.
Authorities have said the postings in which the officers posed as parents or kids are no different than the thousands of real advertisements that already are on the internet.
The multi-agency effort was led by the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force. Over the five-day operation, 45 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors participated.
And on Thursday morning, the final group of 18 was called one by one during a special hearing.
Fifteen entered innocent pleas and had trial dates set for either Sept. 5 or Oct. 2. Three said they’re trying to hire an attorney and had their arraignments pushed out one or two weeks.
Judge Cameron Mitchell increased the bail for almost everyone from the $10,000 that was set when their charges were filed Wednesday to $25,000, $30,000 or $50,000.
Prosecutors asked for higher bail because they had very limited information earlier this week and now are learning more about the allegations and the criminal histories of the suspects.
Mitchell, who signed some of their warrants, said he is very concerned about the threat to community safety.
Aside from the men who are in custody and left the matter for their court-appointed attorneys to argue at the next hearing, a number of the suspects who already posted bond were given until July 20 or 27 to raise the extra amount.
‘13 is a turn on’
Thomas A. Swarers, 69, of Kennewick, responded to an ad from a fictitious mother and talked about having sex with her daughters, ages 6 and 11, and preferably watching the mom with her own 13-year-old son, court documents said.
He claimed he’d been involved with 11- and 13-year-old girls in a past similar relationship in Michigan, documents said.
Swarers is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree rape of a child. His bail is $50,000. He told the court he’s not employed.
Dewayne L. Hetrick, 42, of Kennewick, allegedly told a girl that “13 is a turn on” and agreed to pay her $100 for sexual contact.
After his arrest, he said he came to the apartment to “see what happened” but denied agreeing to have sex with the girl, court documents said. He also said he was going to leave the cash no matter what happened.
Hetrick is charged with attempted second-degree child rape and commercial sex abuse of a minor. His bail is $30,000.
Yasir M. Majeed, 35, of Kennewick, faces the same charges as Hetrick. His bail is $30,000. He is self-employed as a computer technician.
Prosecutors allege he agreed to pay $100 to be with a 13-year-old girl, and sent a picture of the truck he was driving to the meet-up.
Detectives watched Majeed pull into the apartment complex and then drive back out, court documents said. He was arrested in a traffic stop.
Daniel A. Medina, 20, of Pendleton, responded to an ad about “young family fun” and discussed sexual activity with all three of the mother’s children, documents said.
He is charged with attempted first-degree child rape. His bail is $25,000. He signed an extradition waiver, since he lives in Oregon.
Seeking ‘a young man for fun’
The rest of the defendants are charged with one count each of attempted second-degree child rape.
Prosecutors said their standard range without any history is four years and 10 months to six 1/2 years.
Stephen C. Perez, 45, of Pasco, expressed concern in his early chats that the 13-year-old girl was a cop, but then agreed to pay $50 for a sex act, court documents said.
Perez told the court he works with computers in his job with a Department of Energy contractor. His bail is $25,000.
Aaron D. Hagerty, 42, of Kennewick, allegedly replied to an ad by a 13-year-old boy who wanted to play while his mom was away.
He was arrested after he arrived at the location and waved to an undercover child out front, documents said.
Hagerty, who is an accountant and told authorities he does have the ability to travel outside the country, agreed to turn over his passport to police. His bail is $25,000.
Gregory B. Taber, 65, of Pasco, allegedly posted an ad on Craigslist saying he was an older, nice-looking, married man seeking “a young man for fun.”
Detectives replied as a father who was offering up his 13-year-old boy. Taber went into graphic details during his communications about what he wanted to do with the boy, court documents said.
Taber, who used to be the Pasco postmaster, told the court he is retired. His bail is $25,000.
Jesus G. Contreras Salgado, 29, of Tieton, told the13-year-old girl he would drive two hours from his home to be with her so long as her father wasn’t home, documents said. He also allegedly sent a nude picture of a male to the girl.
Contreras Salgado said he had been working a minimum-wage job and was helping out his parents, who are retired. Bail is $25,000.
‘Way too young to be doing this’
James C. Doty, 34, of Richland, received a photo of an undercover trooper posing as a 13-year-old girl and told her she was “way too young to be doing this,” court documents said.
He told the runaway to go home and get off Craigslist, but kept chatting with her and eventually said he wanted to play, documents said. He allegedly said he wanted to teach the girl “lots of things sexually.”
Doty has a lengthy criminal history including a hit-and-run, theft and a violation of a domestic violence no-contact order. His bail is $50,000.
Ali Almafoodh, 35, of Kennewick, responded to a 13-year-old girl looking for an “older daddy,” court documents said.
After his arrest, he admitted he was on his way to have sex, but claimed he didn’t read the whole email and didn’t realize the girl’s age. His bail is $25,000.
James C. Escobedo, 20, of Kennewick, allegedly placed an ad offering his home to “ladys,” adding that he hoped to also have a little fun.
He initially said 13 was too young, then sent pictures of a nude male to the girl and agreed to pick her up and bring her home, court documents said. His bail is $25,000.
John N. Schouviller, 31, of Pasco, sent a picture of himself in response to an ad from a girl wanting an older daddy, documents said. He allegedly talked about watching the 13-year-old shower and dance, touching her and then paying $100 for sex.
His bail is $25,000. He said he works for Coleman Oil and signed an extradition waiver, since his job takes him into Oregon.
Jerome G. Williams, 24, of Kennewick, exchanged pictures with a 13-year-old who said she had been kicked out of her home, court documents said.
He discussed sexual details, including different positions he would like to try. His bail is $25,000.
Kyle R. Sickels, 25, of Kennewick, immediately gave a runaway girl his phone number and said they could go to his home, court documents said. He said he wanted to have sex with the 13-year-old and her friend, and then watch the two of them together.
Bail is $25,000 for Sickels, who allegedly brought alcohol to the meet-up.
Wanted to be her daddy for a night
Jairo Lopez, 20, was arrested after arriving at the apartment to have sex with a 13-year-old girl. He had answered an ad about a girl claiming she was “looking to explore.”
Authorities earlier this week said Lopez lives in Yakima, but he said Thursday that he lives and works in College Place. His bail remained at $10,000, but he was warned prosecutors will move to increase it to $25,000 at his July 20 appearance.
Lucas F. Beach, 38, of Pasco, is now being held on $50,000 bail because his criminal history includes possessing drugs, driving under the influence and possession of stolen mail.
Prosecutors allege he told a girl he wanted to be her daddy for a night.
Beach told the girl he was OK with her young age, that he was hoping to have sex with her and her friend and that it all sounded too good to be true, court documents said.
When arrested after the girl didn’t show up to a park, Beach claimed he planned to advise the runaway to go home and really was there to meet a friend.
Yuriy L. Gulchuk, 35, of Kennewick, allegedly discussed in detail having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He was arrested in a traffic stop after driving around the complex for several minutes and leaving.
His bail was increased to $50,000, based on his history including forgeries and stalking.
Antonio C. Garcia, 21, of Richland, responded to a girl who said she had a “daddy fetish” with five pictures of himself, including one nude shot, court documents said.
He rode his skateboard to the meeting and was caught with six marijuana cigarettes, two marijuana dabs, pineapple juice, rum and cash for the girl.
Garcia said Thursday that he lives in Pullman and needs to travel across Eastern Washington. His bail is $30,000 because he has a prior residential burglary conviction.
All of the suspects have been ordered to stay off the internet and to avoid any contact with minors. Some were granted exceptions for internet use at work, and others can be around minor children in their family with the supervision of another adult who is aware of their charges.
Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Howell told the court that in all cases where there are children in the suspect’s home, the state has contacted Child Protective Services to look into further potential risks.