SPD stages sting

In an unorthodox cross-border arrest to skirt extradition protocol, Sequim Police staged a rendezvous with an Oregon man in southern Washington.

However, what the man didn’t know is that he was meeting the police at a Castle Rock restaurant, rather than a 17-year-old Sequim girl.

Sequim detectives teamed with Castle Rock Police, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office sergeants and the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce to arrest Aaron M. Hahn, 28 of Gresham, Ore., for allegedly sexually victimizing a Sequim teenage girl whom he met over the Internet.

Hahn agreed to meet the girl in a Castle Rock

restaurant, about 10 miles north of Longview, but found himself surrounded by marked and unmarked police vehicles shortly after parking at a gas station in town.

“This is not the norm for us,” Sequim Police Chief Robert Spinks said. “But in lieu of the Port Angeles shooting, where a man shot his ex-girlfriend after stalking her, we took extra steps to show Internet predators are not welcome in Sequim and to show that those that use people from Sequim will not get away with it.”

Detectives wanted to move quickly in Hahn’s arrest due to threatening e-mails sent to the girl. The police ruse to get Hahn in Washington circumvented extradition protocol, which could have taken weeks to get before performing an arrest.

“The threats were bad enough to take seriously and bad enough for the girl to seek us for protection,” Sequim Crime Prevention Officer Maris Turner said. “He had already tried to make contact with her once, so we took these allegations and threats very seriously.”

The Clallam County Superior Court charged Hahn with four counts of rape of a child in the third degree, one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one stalking charge.

The reported victim began talking with Hahn on the Web shortly after she turned 14. He was 25 at the time. He purchased a cell phone for her so they would be able to talk, according to police.

After meeting face-to-face inside and outside of Sequim’s city limits, the relationship became sexual in nature, according to reports. The girl tried to break off all ties with Hahn earlier in 2008, when she was 17, at which time Hahn allegedly sent the threatening e-mails and showed up at the girl’s school.

Spinks said Hahn drove to

Sequim with a friend from

Oregon in late February with flowers and a note for the girl. Officers contacted Hahn while he was waiting in the school parking lot to tell him the girl was no longer willing to see him.

“At that time we were unaware of how far the relationship had gone in the past,” Turner said. “After he came to the school, the family applied for a no-contact order against him and came in for a second interview, at which time we became aware of how serious his appearances and

e-mails were.”

After further investigation, officers found that Hahn had purchased a membership with an Internet site designed to find people’s personal information and addresses. Hahn had handwritten Sequim addresses in his vehicle when arrested.

“The Internet can be a scary thing,” Sequim Police Sgt. Sean Madison said, “be that the connection you make with people or what these people can find out about you.”

After the girl ended the relationship, Hahn began contacting other high school students from Sequim on their Internet sites, reportedly trying to see if they knew her and to make contact.

“This guy was not going to stop, which he made clear with his e-mails and actions,” Madison said. “He was delivered a no-contact order, he was contacted by an officer in person and yet he drove an hour north of the border on the chance he’d be able to see her; these are the traits of a predator.”

Hahn is in the Clallam County Correctional Facility and is due for arraignment March 28.

Sequim Police officers encourage anyone with knowledge of a crime or at risk of being victimized to call their office at 683-7227 or in an emergency to dial 9-1-1.

“This guy was not going to stop, which he made clear with his e-mails and actions.”

— Sean Madison, Sequim Police sergeant

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