Crime

Jury finds Pasco senior citizen guilty in child sex sting case

Douglas Arbogast, shown during his preliminary appearance in Benton County Superior Court in July 2017, was found guilty on Tuesday  of trying to have sex with two kids after responding to an online ad.
Douglas Arbogast, shown during his preliminary appearance in Benton County Superior Court in July 2017, was found guilty on Tuesday of trying to have sex with two kids after responding to an online ad. Tri-City Herald File

A 71-year-old Pasco native was found guilty Tuesday of trying to have sex with two kids after responding to an online ad.

Douglas V. Arbogast was one of 26 men caught in the "Net Nanny" sex sting roundup last summer.

A Benton County jury deliberated for about half a day before convicting him of attempted first- and second-degree child rape.

Arbogast was one of the first arrested in the Net Nanny operation last July, which was part of a multi-agency effort over five days.

He is the second to face a jury. Thomas A. Swarers, 70, was convicted in May.

Arbogast is facing a minimum of 7 1/2 to 10 years in prison, said Benton County Deputy Prosecutor Diana Ruff. When he finishes the term a state review board will determine if he can be released.

Judge Cameron Mitchell set his sentencing for July 25.

The trial began last Wednesday and the jury began deliberating about 3 p.m. Monday.

Prosecutors said he responded to an advertisement by an undercover officer who claimed to be a mother who likes to watch men having sex with her 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.

Arbogast exchanged emails and texts with the "mother" and said he was willing to come to her home to have sex with the kids, understanding the ages of the boy and girl and that the mother would not engage in any sex acts, court documents said.

After his arrest, Arbogast told police "that age is just a number," documents said.

He claimed he went to the home intending to only meet the mother.

Arbogast had a career as an instrument technician. He had no criminal history.

Annette Cary; 509-582-1533
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