Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Sept. 23, 2020

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54-year-old Vancouver man accused of commercial sex abuse, child rape

Police received information that he had displayed ‘grooming’ behaviors with girls between 14 and 17 years old

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

A 54-year-old man is accused of commercial sex abuse after he allegedly paid at least two teenage girls for sex with cash, marijuana, alcohol and vaping supplies.

Julius A. Owolabi of Vancouver appeared Friday via Zoom on the allegation, as well as third-degree child rape, court records show. Judge David Gregerson set his bail at $50,000. He will be arraigned Aug. 20.

On Wednesday, Vancouver police received information about Owolabi displaying “grooming” behaviors with girls between the ages of 14 and 17, by providing them with marijuana, alcohol, vaping supplies and cash. In return, Owolabi demanded the girls send him inappropriate photos and videos via Snapchat, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Detectives began watching Owolabi’s residence Thursday. They followed him as he drove to a Chase Bank branch, used the ATM and then drove to a marijuana shop. He was seen leaving the shop with a bag and returning home. That evening, police followed him to an apartment complex on Northeast 112th Avenue, where he picked up a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old girl. He drove off, nearly causing a crash in the 1500 block of 136th Avenue, at which point, police stopped the vehicle, the affidavit says.

One of the girls told police she was introduced to Owolabi three or four months ago by a friend. She estimated that he gave her and the other girl marijuana at least 20 times, along with other items, the court document states.

Both girls said Owolabi earlier this month arranged to pick them up and take them to his residence. They smoked marijuana together, and he paid both for sex. The teens said Owolabi had the same plan for Thursday, according to the affidavit.

Detectives say they have identified six additional victims, according to the affidavit.

Before asking for an attorney, Owolabi said the girls are his friends, and he was taking them to get something to eat, the court document states.

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