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Originally published Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:16 PM

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Felon who fled Canada registers as sex offender in Seattle

A violent sex offender who ended up in Seattle after fleeing Canada has registered as a sex offender with the King County Sheriff’s Office one day after he was ordered to do so or face arrest.

Seattle Times staff reporters


Michael Sean Stanley, the violent sex offender who fled from supervision in Canada and ended up in Seattle, has registered as a sex offender with the King County Sheriff’s Office one day after he was ordered to do so or face arrest.

Stanley, 48, registered as a transient, which means he will have to check in with the Sheriff’s Office once a week while his legal status is sorted out, said spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West.

West said Stanley was told to register as a sex offender by the U.S. Marshals Service until the Sheriff’s Office receives paperwork from Canada clarifying whether Stanley is required by law to register.

When that happens, and if it’s confirmed Stanley is required to register, he will be classified as a Level 1, 2 or 3 offender based on his criminal record, West said.

Canadian authorities say Stanley has a “horrendous” history of sex offenses there, including convictions for raping an elderly woman, indecent exposure and the forcible confinement of two boys. However, police in the U.S. say they have no reason to arrest him because he has not committed any recent crimes in the U.S.

Canada has opted not to seek his extradition for cutting off a GPS monitor and fleeing Edmonton, Alberta.

Stanley was tracked down Thursday by Seattle police and U.S. marshals at an undisclosed location in the “downtown core.” Police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said Stanley was told about the state’s sex-offender registration requirements and ordered to register within three days or face arrest.

Stanley, a U.S. citizen, has a criminal record in Washington, including in King County, but none of those convictions involves a sex crime, according to court records.

Stanley was released from prison in Canada in April 2011 after serving a 32-month sentence for assault and forcible confinement of two boys, ages 9 and 13, in 2004. He was being monitored by police behavioral specialists in Edmonton and required to wear an ankle bracelet that electronically monitored his whereabouts at all times.

On Oct. 1, Stanley cut the bracelet from his ankle and fled, prompting a provincewide warning and a number of school lockdowns following unconfirmed sightings.

On Oct. 7, Stanley crossed legally into the U.S. at the Blaine border crossing.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Friday that Stanley’s right to privacy prohibits the agency from discussing why he wasn’t turned over to Canadian authorities before being allowed into the U.S., or how it was that someone with what Canadian police say is a long and “horrendous record” of sex crimes would be allowed to cross into the U.S. without further scrutiny.

Customs spokesman Mike Milne explained generally that someone who can establish his identification as a U.S. citizen and isn’t wanted in this country or named in a “provisional warrant,” filed by another country with the U.S. Department of Justice, can cross into the U.S.

While Stanley could have been arrested before entering the U.S. on a warrant out of Edmonton, once he came into the U.S. that warrant could not be served unless Canada sought his extradition.

At the time he entered the U.S., Stanley was wanted on a nationwide arrest warrant in Canada. Canadian officials said bulletins about Stanley’s disappearance had been widely distributed to law-enforcement agencies.

According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, Stanley already had adult and juvenile convictions for stealing cars and theft when he was arrested for breaking into an occupied home in 1983. He pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was given a sentence of one year and nine months, with credit for time served.

He was out on parole by Dec 4, 1984, and five days later was arrested again, court documents show.

This time, he had broken into a Seattle home on 36th Avenue South and residents of the apartment confronted him, prosecutors said.

Stanley armed himself with an 8½-inch kitchen knife when a resident approached him, police and prosecutors said.

Although Stanley was finally subdued by the homeowner and held until police arrived, he’d cut off a small portion of the resident's little fingernail during the struggle, court documents show.

A jury convicted Stanley of first-degree burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, and he was sentenced to just over four years in prison.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.


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