A Vancouver man was sentenced Monday to more than 5½ years in prison, in part, for urinating into milkshake mix while working as a manager at the Mill Plain Arby’s in October 2021.
Stephen S. Sharp, 29, pleaded guilty Aug. 16 in Clark County Superior Court to three counts of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of second-degree attempted assault.
Judge Derek Vanderwood ordered the agreed-upon sentence of 67 months, which also requires that Sharp register as a sex offender. Vanderwood said he hopes Sharp focuses on the required treatment while in prison. Sharp is also prohibited from going to any Arby’s restaurants.
As part of the pre-sentencing investigation, detectives who interviewed Sharp said he declined to express remorse for his crimes.
Defense attorney Alyosha McClain said Sharp has taken responsibility for his actions by resolving the case quickly and cooperating with law enforcement.
Sharp apologized to his family and Clark County during Monday’s hearing.
According to a probable cause affidavit, when detectives served a search warrant on Sharp’s cellphone — while investigating the child pornography allegations — they found a 16-second video showing someone urinating into a bag of milkshake mix. The video’s metadata showed it was recorded Oct. 30 at the Arby’s at 221 N.E. 104th Ave.
Another manager at the Arby’s told detectives that on the day the video was taken, the restaurant sold at least one ice cream float and about 30 to 40 milkshakes, court records state.
Sharp admitted to police he had urinated into the milkshake bag at least twice, but he claimed he was “almost sure” he threw out the bag after, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states Sharp said he was working alone in the restaurant that night and urinated into the milkshake mix for sexual gratification. He told detectives if he didn’t throw away the bag, it would have been added to other mix by the next shift and served to people.
In a May email to The Columbian, an Arby’s spokesperson described Sharp’s “alleged actions” as “abhorrent and unacceptable.” The spokesperson said Arby’s had taken immediate action with the franchise group who terminated Sharp and cooperated with the criminal investigation.
The Vancouver Police Department previously searched for people who might have consumed the contaminated milkshakes, but Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu said Monday no victims had been identified.
Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick previously said there is no significant health risk to consuming a drink contaminated with urine.
Detectives had received cybertips about online and social media accounts suspected of collecting and trading child pornography. A search returned four videos of suspected child pornography shared on a video and chat app. Investigators linked the accounts to Sharp, who admitted the accounts belonged to him, the affidavit states.