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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Nanny charged with child rape, distribution of pornography

A Pierce County man who placed ads on Craigslist for babysitting services has been charged with multiple counts of child rape, child molestation and possessing and dealing child pornography.

Jonathan Harris, 26, pleaded not-guilty Tuesday to the charges, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Bail was set at $2 million.

In late 2011, the mother of a 6-year-old boy hired Harris after placing an ad for a male nanny. Harris baby-sat for the boy while his parents worked, and over the next two years, he allegedly abused the boy sexually and photographed him without clothes.

When the boy’s 13-year-old cousin spent the day with them in October 2013, Harris took them to a Tacoma hotel where he attempted to have sex with the cousin.

Harris began placing his own Craigslist ads and was hired by the mother of a 5-year-old boy to babysit on Sundays while she worked. The boy told his mother on Feb. 3 that Harris had touched him inappropriately and showed him a video of the first boy in his underwear.

After the 5-year-old’s mother contacted the first boy’s mother, and police were notified. Detectives served a search warrant at Harris’ home and seized his cellphone, where they found naked photos of the first boy.

“We see a lot of crimes, sex crimes, property crimes, and scams that originate on Craigslist,” prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “I urge people to be cautious on Craigslist, especially when it comes to child care.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Pierce County, Tacoma


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