A front desk clerk at a Tacoma-area hotel has pleaded not guilty to third-degree child rape and sexual exploitation of a minor in Grays Harbor Superior Court after allegedly luring an Elma teenager to a hotel for sex and, a month later, taking sexual photos of her at a park outside Montesano.
A warrant for the arrest of Michael D. Monasmith, 41, was initially issued in December of 2012, but he remained at large until Jan. 15 of this year, when he was arrested in King County.
“Sometimes it takes them a while to figure out where they’re at,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Katie Svoboda said.
Monasmith was still being held in the Grays Harbor County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.
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 16 and a half years old.
Should Monasmith make bail, his release conditions forbid him from leaving Western Washington or to “approach or associate with anyone under the age of 18.”
A trial has been set for 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 11.
The Daily World contributed to this story.