A Cusick man is in the Spokane County Jail after an undercover Washington State Patrol detective said he offered to pay $17 to the mother of two girls under 12, to have sex with them.
38-year-old Jesse Stratton is being held on a $1,005,050 bond. He denied KHQ's jailhouse request, but court documents explain why he was arrested.
According to the documents, a Detective posted a profile on a social media/dating website as a single mom with two young girls, ages 6 and 11. The description stated "I live for my daughters. If they are happy then I am happy. I want to find a man that will treat them good and fulfill the role of their daddy. You must be able to be discrete and 100% honest." The picture included a profile of a white woman with long brown hair.
According to the documents, on January 30, 2020, the detective received a message from someone later identified as Jesse Stratton. The two communicated via text message over the next 7 days. The text messages are graphic, and can't be wholly reproduced here. However, they start on January 30 at 9:27pm when Stratton writes "Hi my name is Jesse."
They continue, as transcribed directly (including misspellings) below:
- Stratton: I read your profile that you live for your daughter's if they're not happy you're not happy and you're looking for a daddy type. How old are your daughters?
- Undercover Detective: 6 and 11
- Stratton: So you want me to have sex with your kids?
- Undercover Detective: yes. teach them things only a man can teach them. if ur comfortable with that, if not i understand
The conversation gets graphic at that point, with Stratton and the undercover detective (posing as the mother) discussing what kind of sex the children could have. The next day, Stratton asks to speak with the 11-year-old daughter. Court documents say he sent a picture of himself touching his nose with his middle finger, and then a trooper, posing as the 11-year-old, sent a picture of herself touching her nose with her middle finger. This, according to the documents, was to prove that they were real. Here's part of the conversation Stratton has with who he believes is an 11-year-old girl.
- Stratton: I like to meet u guys soon. wood [sic] u like to meet me
- Undercover Detective as 11-year-old: I can't wait. wut [sic] are we going to do? my sistr [sic] is excited 2
- Stratton: I don't know maybne [sic] I'll bring you guys some money or something and see on how you guys are doing. I guess I am going to be your friend or daddy if u like.
The conversation strays into explicit sexual talk from there. Court documents show the two discuss the size of specific body parts, hair, etc.
On February 5, court documents say that Stratton drove from his residence in Cusick to a hotel in Spokane (54 miles away) where "he believed the 6 and 11-year-old children were waiting for him to have sex. According to the court documents, Stratton agreed to bring lube, condoms, $11 for the 11-year-old, $6 for the 6-year-old. While en route, court documents say that Stratton messaged the undercover detective and asked if 6 condoms would be enough. He then messaged again and said he stopped by a sex shop and got flavored lubricant.
At 3:25 in the afternoon, court documents say that Stratton arrived at a hotel in downtown Spokane. He went to the room number he was supposed to and knocked on the door. An undercover officer posing as the mother opened the door and the two briefly talked. Then, Stratton was contacted by the arrest team and placed into custody. During a search of Stratton, court documents say officers found:
- A Verizon cell phone
- A wallet containing $48
- 2 bottles of lube (one cherry flavored, one apple flavored)
- 2 three pack boxes of condoms
- Overnight clothing to include slippers, toothbrush, underwear, socks
Court documents say Stratton admitted to traveling to the hotel to have sexual contact with the young girls. He is being charged with two counts of Attempted Rape of a Child, Attempted Commercial Sex Abuse of a Minor, Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes and two counts of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Stratton is scheduled to be next in court on February 11th.
This operation was part of the Washington State Patrol's Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force, aimed at catching child predators.
"According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before adulthood," WSP's website for the task force says. "It’s because of this staggering statistics that MECTF runs 'Net Nanny Operations' across the state. During these multi-day operations, undercover detectives lure in would be predators and arrest them before any exploitation or harm could be done to children."
The agency provided the following tips for parents to become proactive in preventing something like this from happening to their children:
- Know where your children are at all times
- Know your children’s friends, their parents, addresses, and all phone numbers
- Be alert to teens and/or other adults over-interested in your children
- Teach your children to trust their feelings – it’s okay to say NO
- Be careful when choosing providers for your children
- Be involved and spend time with your children when they are online
- Never give out personal information in chat rooms or forums
- Tell your children to let you know when they receive obscene or suggestive messages
For more information on the Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force, CLICK HERE.