A Clark County jury has found a Ridgefield man guilty of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
Mickey C. Sebourn's conviction Tuesday was based on evidence from an undercover Seattle police detective who posed as a 15-year-old boy online and had sexual conversations with the 55-year-old Sebourn via email.
Sebourn faces a sentence of one to three months for the felony and will be required to register as a sex offender. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 8.
Seattle police Detective Tye Holand, posing as a 15-year-old boy, responded July 8 to a personals ad Sebourn posted on Craigslist Casual Encounters, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court. The ad was titled "Dad looking for son to (commit a sexual act)."
In the ad, Sebourn stated that he was looking for "a boy" and those interested in incest would receive special consideration, said Deputy Prosecutor Camara Banfield.
"Hey there, I am 15 and saw," Holand replied, according to the affidavit. "I do what you want. I am available Saturday night. I am on summer break and need to make a little money. If serious, let me know."
Holand's response spawned a lengthy communication about sexual topics via email. At one point, they arranged to meet at a hotel, according to the affidavit. But that meeting never happened. George Marlton, Sebourn's attorney, said Sebourn never planned for the meeting to happen.
During his two-day trial in front of Superior Court Judge Daniel Stahnke, Sebourn claimed that he was just role-playing during the communications with Holand.
"There's absolutely no evidence that he intended to have any sexual contact with a 15-year-old," Marlton said.
Banfield said she only had to prove to the jury that he communicated with someone he thought was a minor for immoral purposes, which includes having conversations about sexual topics for his own sexual gratification.
"We didn't have to prove he wanted to meet up; but quite frankly, I think he did," Banfield said. "In the ad he placed, he said he was looking for a boy."
Vancouver police arrested Sebourn July 11 at his residence in Ridgefield. He had been in jail since then. Stahnke released him from jail Tuesday because he had already served 84 days, about the amount of time he has to serve for the crime under statute.
The Vancouver Police Department, in a press release Thursday, directed parents and teens to its website for guidance on how to guard against online predators: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/internet-safety.