Crime

Craigslist nanny from University Place accused of raping children

Staff writerFebruary 12, 2014 

A University Place man who advertised baby-sitting services on Craigslist has been charged with multiple counts of child rape and other sex crimes, court records show.

Jonathan Michael Harris, 26, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to four counts of first-degree child rape, two counts of possession of child pornography and one count each of child molestation, second-degree child rape and dealing in child pornography.

Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Harris jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, and prosecutors said more charges might be filed against him.

Sheriff's detectives arrested Harris last week at his home, court records show.

The case against him began on Feb. 3 when a woman reported to authorities her 5-year-old son had told her Harris had touched his "private area" at a Super Bowl party he'd taken the boy to, the records show.

The woman said she'd hired Harris to look after the boy on Sundays while she worked after seeing Harris' ad on Craigslist.

Harris allegedly told the boy, who passed along the information to his mother, that he "use to hang out naked" with another boy he baby-sat, court records show. Harris also allegedly showed the 5-year-old a video of the second boy running around in his underpants.

The mother of the 5-year-old boy went on Harris' Facebook page, saw a picture of the second boy there, was able to determine his name and called his mother, the records show.

That woman then called sheriff's detectives.

She told them she'd advertised for "a male nanny" in late 2011 or early 2012 and hired Harris, who watched her now 8-year-old son while she and the boy's father worked.

During a forensic interview with detectives, that boy said that when he was 6 Harris raped him multiple times and also sexually assaulted his cousin. The cousin's mother later told Tacoma police her son, now 13 and special needs, confirmed Harris had assaulted him, the records show.

Detectives searched Harris' house on Thursday and seized a computer and cell phone.

Authorities found pictures of the 8-year-old boy in various states of undress and one showing the boy performing a sex act on Harris, the records show.

Detectives also found messages on the phone between Harris and an unknown person in which he discusses wanting to get one of the boys "into a public bathroom or locker room so that he can see me and I can see him so he sees that it is no big deal ... once he is in that level of comfort things will move really quickly."

 

 

 

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