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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

October 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Bail set at $100,000 for sex offender who fled Canada

A judge this morning set bail at $100,000 for Michael Sean Stanley, a sex offender who earlier this month fled Canada for Seattle. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

A judge this morning set bail at $100,000 for sex offender Michael Sean Stanley following his arrest Tuesday on a harassment charge.

Stanley, a sex offender who fled supervision in Canada earlier this month, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

He appeared briefly via video feed before Seattle Municipal Court Judge Karen Donohue. The judge set the high bail after Seattle Assistant City Attorney John McGoodwin said Stanley is believed to be a flight risk and indicated he is also a suspect in the sexual assault Tuesday of a 16-year-old boy.

Nic Gross, the public defender appearing for Stanley, sought his release and suggested that Stanley could be required to check in daily if the court wanted those conditions. Gross said that Stanley has an uncle and a cousin in the area who could get him work as a laborer, but Donohue questioned those family links and said the circumstances of his flight raised concerns about whether he would show up for future court hearings.
“The court does have concerns with the lack of ties Mr. Stanley has to Seattle,” Donohue said.

Stanley’s next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4.

The high bail means Stanley could remain in custody while Seattle police investigate him in connection with the alleged sexual assault. Seattle Police Detective Renee Witt said detectives continue to investigate the case and plan to present it to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office “within the next day or so.”

She said the 16-year-old alleged victim was taken into custody last night on a misdemeanor truancy warrant. He’s from Kirkland and is being held at the King County Youth Service Center. Witt said “the detectives felt he was at risk and took him to Youth Services.”

Stanley was arrested early Tuesday morning after residents of a West Seattle neighborhood complained of a man yelling. One neighbor said Stanley threatened him after he asked Stanley to quiet down, according to a police report.

Officers who arrived in an alley near the 2400 block of 44th Avenue Southwest said Stanley was belligerent and “actively resisted” their commands. They confiscated a small lock-blade knife, a flashlight, a screwdriver and pliers from Stanley, according to the report.

After Stanley’s arrest, police said he was also suspected of the sexual assault of the 16-year-boy that occurred earlier in the morning.

Seattle police say Stanley met the teen at a grocery store and struck up a conversation with him. He then lured the boy into the alley and gave him alcohol before grabbing and sexually assaulting him, police said.

During this morning’s hearing, Donohue ordered Stanley to stay away from the alleged victim if he’s released on bail.

Stanley is a U.S. citizen with an extensive history of sexual assaults and other crimes in Canada. He entered the United States at the Blaine border crossing Oct. 7 after cutting a monitoring bracelet and fleeing Edmonton, Alberta, where he had been under supervision following his release after 32 months in prison for kidnapping two boys from a school playground.

Edmonton police issued a warrant for his arrest, and Canadian law-enforcement officials said U.S. Customs and Border Protection had been told that Stanley might be attempting to enter the United States.

U.S. Customs officials have said they could not arrest Stanley on the Canadian warrant, which could not be served in the United States.

Canada has said it would not seek Stanley’s extradition over charges of cutting off his GPS monitor and fleeing the country.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this post.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: harassment, Michael Sean Stanley, Seattle Municipal Court

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