SEDRO-WOOLLEY — A 19-year-old registered sex offender is in jail after the mother of the girl he was dating set up her own Facebook sting.
William Elms is charged with two counts of immoral communication with a minor in Skagit County Superior Court and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday morning.
The case was referred to Sedro-Woolley Police on Aug. 14 after a Snohomish police officer received a complaint from a mother who caught her teenage daughter’s boyfriend sending lewd photos and messages to someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl. But actually, the girl was made up by the mother.
The mother told officers her 17-year-old daughter had been dating Elms, a Level 1 registered sex offender from Sedro-Woolley, since April. Despite her attempts to dissuade her daughter from dating him, she continued the relationship, according to court documents.
In July, the mother learned that a teenage family friend was a Facebook friend with Elms and spoke to him regularly.
Without any law enforcement involvement, the two created a profile of a pretend 15-year-old girl on Facebook, complete with photos and friends, known as “Ashley.” They then made up a fight between the teen and the fake girl and confided in Elms about the situation, reports say.
In less than 24 hours, Elms sent a friend request to “Ashley” and the woman accepted the friend request through “Ashley’s” profile. Elms and the mother, using the “Ashley” profile, conversed online, and the mother told police the dialogue turned “dirty, violent and nasty” within a day, according to investigative records.
On Aug. 3, the mother found in “Ashley’s” email account two photos of Elms’ genitalia, sent from the same cell phone number police have as Elms’ main contact, the affidavit says.
In ensuing Facebook conversations, Elms tried to persuade “Ashley” to sneak out of her house to go camping with him and discussed sexual activity, reports indicate. He also told her that if anyone asks, she should say she is 16 years old.
Elms was arrested Aug. 18 upon his release from the Snohomish County Jail in Everett. He was in jail for a probation violation and was under state supervision for his prior third-degree child molestation conviction.
He is held on $25,000 bail.