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Prison for rape of a minor in Elma hotel

A Tacoma man who lured an Elma teenager to a hotel for sex and, a month later, took sexual photos of her at a park outside Montesano, was sentenced recently to just more than a year in prison.

Michael D. Monasmith, 41, was sentenced May 23 in Grays Harbor County Superior Court to one year, two months in prison for third-degree rape of a child.

A second charge of sexual exploitation of a minor was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. That led to Monasmith getting the top of his standard sentencing range for the rape charge, which was 12 to 14 months.

On July 31, 2012, Monasmith took lewd photographs of a then-15-year-old girl near the fishing shelter at Friend’s Landing. A passerby reported the incident.

The girl told police, “She had been trying to start a modeling career and met the defendant over the Internet,” court documents state.

Court documents filed in 2012 for Monasmith’s arrest warrant state that on July 1, 2012 visitors at Friend’s Landing, located outside of Montesano, spotted Monasmith with the 15-year-old girl, taking photos. A deputy found the couple and learned that the teenager’s parents had no idea where she was.

The girl told the deputy that “she had been trying to start a modeling career and met the defendant over the Internet,” court documents state. “On the date in question, he had asked her to pose suggestively in bikinis and directed her to touch herself and remove the bathing suit.”

Monasmith denied taking nude photos of the teenager, but admitted to directing the teenager “to pose seductively and somewhat slutty.” He admitted to knowing she was 15, according to the deputy’s report.

During a second interview, the deputy says that the teenager admitted to meeting Monasmith at an Elma hotel, where she danced for him in her underwear and engaged in sexual acts.

The girl is now almost 17 years old. It took more than a year for Monasmith to be arrested for the incident.