A violent, high-risk sex offender that escaped from Canada has registered as a sex offender in King County. But other than keeping an eye on him, police say there’s not much else they can do.
“It’s unfortunate that he ended up here, but we will do everything we can in our power to ensure that he stays in line with his registration,” Renee Witt, with the Seattle Police Department, tells KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
Michael Sean Stanley, 48, has a long history of sexual offenses against women and children. The CBC reports he has a history of taking children from playgrounds, and was sentenced for luring two mentally-impaired boys to an apartment in 2006, and in the 1980s he spent time in prison for sexually assaulting an 82-year-old wheelchair bound woman.
Stanley fled Canada after cutting off his electronic-monitoring bracelet. U.S. officials allowed him to cross the border after determining he was an American citizen and not the subject of an extraditable arrest warrant. He then made his way to Seattle.
Authorities say they can’t arrest him because Canada has decided not to seek his extradition and Stanley is not wanted for any crimes in the United States.
“Every single person needs to know about this guy,” says Dori, “because this guy is on the loose and even though he cut off his monitoring bracelet, there’s apparently nothing law enforcement in this country can do about him because the Canadians aren’t extraditing him.”
“Why won’t the Canadians extradite him?” Dori asked Witt.
“That’s a great question,” said Witt, “one that I would like the answer to as well.”
Witt says they can’t arrest Stanley because even though they know he escaped from monitoring in Canada, without being wanted in the U.S. or a Canadian order requesting extradition, they can’t take him into custody.
“Unfortunately for us, the laws are not written to where we can just pick him up, lock him up, and send him back to Canada. When we contacted him, ran his name, there was no warrant in the system for him. The Canadians would not extradite, so our hands were tied,” says Witt.
“However, we were able to in working with prosecutors, and our law department, determine that under state law that he was required to register here as a sex offender,” says Witt.
Seattle police located Stanley in downtown Seattle on Thursday and advised him that he needed to register as a sex offender in the state by Oct. 22. Witt says Stanley followed the order and registered at the King County Courthouse on Friday morning.
King County Sgt. Cindi West says they’re trying to determine what level sex offender he should be listed as. Witt says Seattle police will continue to monitor the situation.
“We’re doing everything to ensure that he is closely monitored and to make sure that he doesn’t reoffend here in our city,” says Witt. “Of course, if anyone should see him out doing anything that may fall outside of those guidelines, they’re asked to call 911.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.