Sex offender who fled Canada due in court today
SEATTLE - A violent sex offender who recently fled Canada is to appear in a Seattle courtroom today as authorities say he now is suspected of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy.
Michael Sean Stanley's scheduled appearance comes after he was jailed for investigation of harassment for an incident Tuesday morning.
Authorities say Stanley is also being investigated for assault after Seattle police said he met a boy at west Seattle grocery store, struck up a conversation and walked with him to an alley where he plied the teen with alcohol.
Police said Stanley grabbed the teen and sexually assaulted him. The boy pulled a knife and was able to run away and contact police.
Detectives believe the incident happened before police received several calls reporting noise in an alley and Stanley threatening someone who asked him to be quiet.
When police arrived, Stanley became combative and said he had a knife. He appeared intoxicated, according to authorities. He was arrested and jailed for investigation of harassment.
Stanley entered the United States earlier this month as Canadian police were searching for the 48-year-old. On Oct. 1, the electronic monitoring bracelet he had been wearing was cut off and found on the roof of a business in Lloydminster on the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary.
He was being monitored by police under a peace bond with conditions, including one ordering him to stay away from children.
His criminal record in Canada dates back to 1987 and includes sex offences against an elderly woman and two mentally challenged boys.
Stanley was released from jail in Canada in April 2011 after completing a 32-month sentence for assault and forcible confinement.
An American citizen, Stanley crossed the border and was located in the Seattle area last week. Canadian officials decided not to seek extradition.
He registered as a sex offender with the King County sheriff's office and listed his address as an intersection just a block away from Pike Place Market, a scenic destination for both tourists and locals. It's also near a preschool, even though he had been ordered to stay away from children in Canada.
Ilene Stark, executive director at Pike Market Child Care and Preschool, said the community felt threatened by Stanley's arrival in the area, given that his recent history made him seem like a dangerous and unpredictable person. The preschool reviewed its lockdown plan, kept in constant contact with security in the area, and provided images and descriptions of Stanley to teachers and parents.
"It's been intense," Stark said. "It felt like there was a threat in our community and that we needed to be much more vigilant â€” more than in everyday life. It was disconcerting."
Stark said she was saddened that something horrible apparently had to happen before Stanley was collected by U.S. law enforcement. At the same time, she said her sadness was coupled with relief knowing that there is more legal control over Stanley's whereabouts.
Before Tuesday, there was no reason to arrest Stanley since Canada hadn't pursued an extraditable warrant and he wasn't wanted for any crimes in the United States, authorities said.
Edmonton police spokesman Chad Orydzuk told The Associated Press that Stanley's arrest in Seattle was "unfortunate but we can't provide comment. It's not our file."
"If he continues to break the law down south you can imagine how difficult it would be for us to comment .... For us to comment on that, we couldn't keep up with that, if this was to continue," he said.
Orydzuk said when Stanley breached the monitoring conditions in Edmonton, officials searched for him and notified the public and other agencies. Unconfirmed sightings of Stanley led schools in several west-central Saskatchewan communities to lock their doors and keep children inside.
A Canadian extradition expert had publicly suggested Canada should say ``good riddance'' and leave Stanley in the U.S. because extradition would be costly and he would face little time behind bars if convicted of the minor crimes. But Alberta's official Opposition Wildrose party called the government's decision ``morally reprehensible'' and demanded justice officials try to get the sex offender back.
A spokesman with Alberta Justice had no comment Tuesday on Stanley's arrest. Wildrose justice critic Shane Saskiw repeated that Stanley should have been extradited as soon as possible to protect all people _ regardless of whether they live south or north of the border.
Gillies reported from Toronto.
Follow Mike Baker at https://twitter.com/MikeBakerAP.
With files from The Canadian Press