Vancouver man sentenced after sex charge reduced

He had explicit chats with what he thought was 12-year-old girl

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A 39-year-old Vancouver man pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to engaging in sexually explicit chats with someone he believed was a 12-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 30 days on a work crew.

Originally, Ryan Lown had been charged with one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, a Class C felony, and sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class B felony. The charge was lowered to one count of luring, a class E felony. Judge Daniel Stahnke sentenced him.

Stahnke accepted the sentence recommended by the defense, citing evidence that Lown has a low risk to reoffend and no criminal history. There was also no actual victim in the crime.

Lown starting speaking with a Renton police officer in October 2011 on Yahoo! chats, under the belief the officer was a young girl. The chats eventually escalated to a sexual nature, leading the Renton officer to contact Vancouver police that March.

Members of the Vancouver Police Digital Evidence Cybercrimes Unit served a search warrant at Lown's residence in the 1700 block of Northeast 94th Street, where they seized several pieces of evidence.

Lown has received counseling since he was charged in May 2011.

"I'm very apologetic," Lown said.

He reported to jail following the trial.

Lown is married, has a 19-year-old son and works as an operations manager at an electric firm.

Patty Hastings: 360-735-4513; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops;patty.hastings@columbian.com.