James Donald Willam, 58, from Renton, was charged April 24 by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office as part of an online child sex sting operation.
The three counts Willam was charged with were attempted rape of a child in the first degree, attempted rape of a child in the second degree and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
“Protecting the vulnerable, especially children, is a top priority for our office,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist in a media release. “These sting operations protect our community by holding offenders accountable and sending a strong message.”
According to probable cause documents, undercover officers posed as a fictitious mother with a 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.
The officers used a well-known website to advertise in an effort to identify and capture those looking to sexually exploit and abuse children.
The documents stated Willam responded to the advertisement and began talking with the fictitious mother first via email and then by text messages.
Willam spent “a considerable period of time (discussing) the details” of the encounter with the undercover officers posing as the mother.
The documents didn’t go into too much detail due to the graphic nature.
Willam and the undercover officers agreed on a location and when he arrived surveillance units on scene arrested him.
When he was getting out of his vehicle, the documents stated, the surveillance team noticed he put something on the ground. Once he was arrested, they went to the area near his vehicle where he was seen placing something on the ground and located several packages of condoms.
Willam also had a package of Skittles on his person. Documents stated the undercover officers had told him the fictitious daughter liked Skittles.
Following his arrest, he stated he had responded to the advertisement but he couldn’t remember anymore details than that.
He claimed he was at the location to pick up a pizza.
Officers sent a test text message to his phone and were able to verify that it was his phone that had been sending those messages to the undercover officers. He admitted, the documents stated, that no one but him had access to his phone.
Willam along with 11 other men were arrested over multiple days by the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force.
This was the seventh operation of Net Nanny since August 2015. In that time a total of 86 arrests have been made, and 21 victims throughout the state have been rescued, a media release from the Washington State Patrol stated.
In this case aside from the 12 suspects who were arrested and charged, two children at risk of being abused were rescued, the WSP release added.
Also arrested during this Net Nanny operation were:
• Petueru L. Namulauti, 50, Tacoma
• Brad L. Henry, 60, Shelton
• Christopher T.D. Gartside, 27
• John F. Schliep, 47, Tacoma
• Erik W. Tanson, 48, Gig Harbor
• Fletcher Kilpatrick, 36, Kent
• Thomas J. Hili, 50, Lakewood
• Kyle C. Weaver
• James L. Carter, 56, Lacey
• Nicholas J. Dean, 26, Puyallup
• Hugo Pena Ramirez, 35, Tacoma
Funding for this operation is due partly to donations from the public. For more information or to donate visit http://www.wsp.wa.gov/mectf/donate.php.