Portland/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 19, 2024
Portland Man Arrested in Seattle for Alleged Attempt to Engage in Sexual Abuse with MinorsSource: Unsplash/Tingey Injury Law Firm

A Portland man, Mark David McCool, faced a federal judge in Seattle today following a sting operation targeting sexual predators. McCool, 56, was nabbed on May 16 by Homeland Security Investigations and the Seattle Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for allegedly trying to engage in sexual abuse with children, U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman announced. Bearing condoms, baby oil, rope, and stuffed animals, McCool was arrested in a Seattle hotel where he believed he was meeting with 7 and 11-year-old kids.

Details from court records have revealed that McCool engaged for weeks in disturbing "chats" on the Kik Messenger App with an undercover agent masquerading as a child's caretaker. He detailed his sexual interest in minors and prior abuses, speaking also of the existence of "trophies" from past incidents. According to the Department of Justice, McCool arranged to come to Seattle, making the journey by train and rideshare to the supposed meeting spot.

Charged with attempted enticement of a minor and travel with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor, McCool could face 10 years to life in prison for the former and up to 30 years for the latter. The charges, however, are purely allegations at this point, with McCool being presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The case, which is another grim reminder of the vulnerabilities plaguing the innocent in our supposedly safe digital corridors, is prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson. It falls under the vigilant gaze of Homeland Security Investigation's arm within the collaborative efforts of the Seattle Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). As our communities grapple with the dark realities of child exploitation, we count on coordinated enforcement to both deter and apprehend those who prey on what should be untouchable innocence.