“It’s a very serious problem, and we’re finding it’s more often the child’s family or relatives involved (in the abuse).These children do not have a voice and without the involvement of law enforcement, they may never have had a voice.” Two of the men were from Everett – Stephen Canter, 45, and Russell Harris, 37.Canter is a working professional in the community, employed as an Everett real estate broker while Harris is a convicted felon for burglary in the second degree from 1998.“These men are all working professionals, one is even a firefighter in Central-Kitsap, and they all come from all walks of life,” Moore said. They were all coming to commit crimes against children.Some of the online communications were disturbing, revealing some of the men’s history with touching or being close with children and what they wanted to do to the mother’s (undercover agent’s) children.One of the men revealed the best way to meet with other “like-minded families” was at a nudist resort.Six men were arrested for attempted rape of a child and commercial sexual abuse of a minor in a multi-agency sting investigation that culminated in Lynnwood. Last week, five of the six men arrested were charged in Snohomish County District Court by the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The deadline for the PA to charge the men in Superior Court is March 11.
From the investigation, law enforcement discovered there were at least three real children already involved and being exploited by a few of the men. “This is our third operation in the last two years, all by the Missing and Exploited Children Task Force,” said Kyle Moore, WSP spokesman.All of the men were duped by undercover law enforcement officers that put out ads online, posing as a mother seeking to exploit her three young children.They communicated online and via mobile phones with the undercover WSP officers, some for several months.After some time talking with the mother (undercover agent), the men wanted to meet the children.
Each man knowingly and willingly arrived at the location of their arrests intending to engage in sexual activities with young girls, aged 8 and 11 or 12.
If we weren’t there, they probably would have committed crimes against other children.” The age ranges of the men are 20-61.