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May 3, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Ex-Seattle drug counselor gets 4 1/2 years for plotting boy’s rape

David Scratchley, the former manager of a Seattle drug-treatment center who was once considered a local expert on addiction, was sentenced this afternoon to about 4 1/2 years in prison for plotting to sexually assault a 10-year-old boy in September 2011.

Scratchley, now 53, pleaded guilty on April 16 to attempted first-degree child molestation and possession of cocaine just as he was about to go to trial. He has been held in the King County Jail since his arrest on Sept. 1, 2011, jail records show.

He was originally charged with attempted first-degree child rape, communication with a minor for immoral purposes and possession of child pornography. But the plea deal secured “a conviction for a felony sex offense and spares the victim from having to testify at trial,” Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said following the plea.

Scratchley faces an indeterminate sentence  because he pleaded guilty to a felony sex crime – and it will be up to the state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to determine if he is released or forced to serve additional prison time, up to life. With credit for time served, he could be out in about three years.

Should he be released, Scratchley will be required to register as a sex offender for life, and will also be under community supervision for life.

Scratchley was arrested at his Belltown apartment after a woman called police and said she feared he was planning to rape a 10-year-old boy, according to charging documents.

Officers found the child inside Scratchley’s apartment building and took him to Harborview Medical Center for an examination, which revealed no evidence that the boy had been sexually assaulted.

At the time, police said the boy told them his mother had allowed him to spend time alone with Scratchley several times. On some of those occasions, Scratchley talked to him about sex, the boy said, according to court records.

The woman who contacted police told investigators Scratchley had “talked about sexual fantasies that he had about children and told her that he had sexually abused children in the past,” the records say.

Police said the woman “led Scratchley to believe that she was a willing participant in the events he was planning with the victim,” they say.

After calling 911, the woman met police at Scratchley’s apartment building and told officers that the boy was coming down the elevator to meet her, according to the affidavit. Police said they then talked to the boy, who identified Scratchley as a “friend.”

Police reported that they found cocaine inside Scratchley’s home.

Scratchley was the clinical manager of the treatment program at the Matt Talbot New Hope Recovery Center in Seattle, an outpatient facility for adults. Police said Scratchley met the 10-year-old boy through his mother while she was somehow connected with the program.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: attempted first-degree child molestation, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, King County Superior Court


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