Robert Wayne Wright, a 60-year-old Mountlake Terrace man with an education in child psychology, was arrested Friday on charges relating to the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy at a motel in Aberdeen, according to a statement from Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers.
“Officers learned the boy had been communicating over social media with a 60-year-old man from Mountlake Terrace. The man drove to Hoquiam after the victim claimed to be 18, not 13 years old, over social media messaging,” said Myers. “When the two actually met, apparently neither appeared to be the person they portrayed over social media. The suspect drove the 13-year-old to a motel in Aberdeen where he was sexually assaulted before being returned and dropped off in Hoquiam.”
Police were called last Thursday evening when the victim’s foster parent grew concerned when the boy had stayed out longer than anticipated Thursday, said Myers. The foster parent searched for the victim and found the boy leaving a vehicle in the north end of Hoquiam.
“Thankfully, the foster parent had the wherewithal to take a cellular photo of the vehicle and license plate,” said Myers.
After the foster parent notified authorities, the child was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia for a sexual assault examination, said Myers.
“Early the next morning, detectives drove to the motel in Aberdeen on the chance the suspect was still there. Detectives found the suspect’s vehicle, as photographed by the foster parent, parked in the motel lot,” said Myers. “Aberdeen officers responded to the motel to assist the Hoquiam detectives and officers; the suspect was located and taken into custody.”
Wright was taken to the Hoquiam City Jail and interviewed by detectives. Wright claimed the victim told him he was 18 years old, but suspected the victim was perhaps younger, such as 16 or 17 years old, said Myers. Under Washington State law, the basic legal age of sexual consent is 16.
Wright was charged with second degree rape of a child.
After securing a search warrant, the motel room was processed for evidence by detectives; the suspect’s vehicle was impounded for evidence and transported to the Hoquiam Police Department for a subsequent search warrant.
“Evidence recovered at this point in the investigation suggests the suspect drove to Hoquiam specifically to meet with the victim for sex,” said Myers in his statement. “Detectives were not convinced the suspect believed the victim was actually over the age of 18, especially after learning the suspect has education as a child psychologist. It appears he was last employed by a medical provider as a contracted speech language pathologist/child psychologist within a school district in King County.”
The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has been notified given the suspect’s employment within a public school, said Myers.
Wright made his initial court appearance Monday and was ordered held on $100,000 bond on a charge of second degree rape of a child, according to Erin Riley at the Prosecutor’s Office. Myers said Wright made bond Tuesday night; as part of his conditions of release Wright is not allowed to have any contact with children under the age of 18. Another court appearance had not yet been scheduled as of Wednesday morning, but sources at the Prosecutor’s Office say it will likely be Monday morning. Wright told the court Monday he would be hiring his own attorney.
Myers said many sexual assaults are never reported and it is critical to empower victims to report abuses to law enforcement for criminal investigation. If there are additional allegations, victims are encouraged to call the local law enforcement agency where the offense occurred.
Anyone with information regarding the Hoquiam/ Aberdeen investigation should call Hoquiam Detective David Peterson at 360-532-0892 extension 276; or email firstname.lastname@example.org .