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Sex offender sent to prison after trying to lure 5-year-old child for sex by contacting parent

This news story was published on July 11, 2017.
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SEATTLE – A previously-convicted child sex offender was sentenced recently to 12 years in prison followed by 20 years’ supervised released for attempted enticement of an individual he believed was a 5-year-old girl.

Todd Darren Rickdal, 50, of Seattle, first came to the attention of special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after he responded to a Seattle Police Department Craigslist ad during a 2016 sting operation. According to court records, Rickdal communicated via email, text and phone with an undercover agent who posted an ad in Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section referencing “family fun.” He believed he was making arrangements to have sex with the undercover investigator’s fictitious 5-year-old daughter.

Rickdal was arrested when he arrived at a hotel possessing aids he described to the undercover agent that would assist in the planned sexual abuse of the minor.

At the time of his arrest, Rickdal was on community corrections supervision for a 2012 conviction for attempted child molestation in the second degree and possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He served 34 months in prison and remains a registered sex offender.

“Despite serving a previous state sentence for related crimes, this predator continued seeking to harm innocent children,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “Through joint law enforcement efforts and a shared commitment to halt child exploitation entirely, these agents continue seeking justice for all real and potential victims of this heinous crime.”
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said he was “substantially concerned about protecting the public.”

“A federal conviction – with its significant penalties and intensive supervision after release – is the right result in a case like this,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I commend law enforcement for working proactively to identify those who try to use the internet to commit their crimes. There is no question that their work prevented the exploitation of real children and the impact such horrific crimes have over a lifetime.”

The case was investigated in coordination with the Seattle Police Department and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson, a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation crimes in federal court.

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