Skip to main content

Originally published October 23, 2013 at 8:24 PM | Page modified November 1, 2013 at 4:08 PM

  • Comments ()
  • Print

Corrected version

$100,000 bail intended to keep sex offender in custody

A judge Wednesday set bail at an unusually high $100,000 for sex offender Michael Sean Stanley who was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor harassment charge.

Seattle Times staff reporter


A judge Wednesday set bail at an unusually high $100,000 for sex offender Michael Sean Stanley after his arrest Tuesday on a misdemeanor harassment charge.

Stanley, a U.S. citizen who fled police supervision in Canada earlier this month, pleaded not guilty.

The high bail will hold Stanley in custody while Seattle police complete their investigation into allegations that Stanley sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy near the West Seattle alley where he was arrested for investigation of harassment. Seattle police said paperwork in that investigation is being completed, and the case could be presented to prosecutors as early as Thursday.

Stanley, 48, appeared briefly via video feed Wednesday before Seattle Municipal Court Judge Karen Donohue. The judge set the high bail after Seattle Assistant City Attorney John McGoodwin said Stanley is believed to be a flight risk and a danger to the community because Stanley is a suspect in the sexual assault.

Nic Gross, a public defender appearing for Stanley, sought his release and suggested that Stanley could be required by the court to check in daily. Gross said that Stanley has an uncle and a cousin in the area who could get him work as a laborer.

Donohue, however, questioned whether those family ties would be strong enough to keep him in the area. Based on media reports and representations by McGoodwin, Donohue concluded that Stanley was a threat to the community.

“The court does have concerns with the lack of ties Mr. Stanley has to Seattle,” Donohue said.

His next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Stanley’s arrest came shortly after police responded to neighbor reports of a man yelling in the alley early Tuesday. One neighbor said Stanley threatened him after he asked Stanley to quiet down, according to a police report.

Officers who arrived in an alley near the 2400 block of 44th Avenue Southwest said Stanley was belligerent and “actively resisted” their commands. They confiscated a small lock-blade knife, a flashlight, a screwdriver and pliers from Stanley, according to the report.

After Stanley’s arrest, police said he was also suspected in a reported sexual assault involving the 16-year-boy that occurred earlier in the morning.

Seattle police say Stanley met the teen at a grocery store and struck up a conversation with him. He then lured the boy into the alley and gave him alcohol before grabbing and sexually assaulting him, police said.

The boy told police he got away after he pulled a knife on his assailant.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Donohue ordered Stanley to stay away from the alleged victim if he’s released on bail.

Detective Renee Witt said the young victim was taken into custody by police Tuesday night on a truancy warrant after detectives determined he was “at-risk.” She described him as a runaway from the Tukwila area. He is being held at the Youth Services Center, Witt said.

Stanley is a U.S. citizen with an extensive history of sexual assaults and other crimes in Canada.

On Oct. 1, he cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet in Edmonton, Alberta, where he had been under supervision following his release after 32 months in prison for kidnapping two boys from a school playground.

He committed that crime a year after serving nine years in prison in Canada for raping a disabled 82-year-old woman in Lethbridge and an attempted assault that same night on a 15-month-old girl after he broke into her bedroom, according to news reports at the time.

When he was released in 1997, provincial authorities determined he was so dangerous that they issued a rare public notification and warning that he was getting out.

A year later, he kidnapped two young boys from a playground and assaulted them. He served nearly three years for that crime before being released in April 2011.

Edmonton police issued a warrant for his arrest Oct 1, and Canadian law-enforcement officials said U.S. Customs and Border Protection had been told that Stanley might be attempting to enter the United States.

He entered the United States legally at the Blaine border crossing Oct. 7.

U.S. Customs officials have said they could not arrest Stanley on the Canadian warrant, which could not be served in the United States.

After Stanley crossed the border, Canada said that it would not seek Stanley’s extradition over charges of cutting off his GPS monitor and fleeing the country.

Shayne Saskiw, an Alberta provincial legislator, has called on the government to extradite Stanley and prosecute him for fleeing his parole bond and cutting off the monitor.

Then, Saskiw wrote in a recent blog posting, Canada should deport him to the United States.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or

Information in this article, originally published Oct. 23, 2013, was corrected Nov. 1, 2013. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Seattle Municipal Court Judge Karen Donohue considered a pending sexual-assault investigation against Michael Sean Stanley when she set bail at $100,000. The high bail was set because the judge considered Stanley a flight risk.


Partner Video