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Police arrest sex offender for grooming boys on Facebook
Mirror staff reports:
A registered sex offender in Federal Way is accused of flirting with local teenage boys on Facebook.
Leland Alexander James, 19, faces two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes. He is being held on $100,000 bail and his arraignment will be March 7 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.
James was brought to the attention of Federal Way police by the mother of a 13-year-old boy. According to charging papers, the mother noticed that her son had received a Facebook message from James. The boy did not know James, who had found him on Facebook through the boy's mutual online friends.
The mother posed as her son and engaged in an online conversation with James, who wrote "i just added u cause u were cute honestly." In another exchange dated Feb. 12, James wrote to the boy: "ur attractive. how old r you? can I ask that??"
On Feb. 12, Federal Way police received reports from two different parents whose 13-year-old sons had received Facebook messages from James.
On Feb. 13, police took another report, this time with a 14-year-old boy as the recipient of inappropriate Facebook and text messages from James. According to the police report, the boy agreed to meet James at Olympic View Park, but James didn't show up. James also allegedly asked via text message if the boy liked sexual "domination" and whether the boy would touch James's penis.
On Feb. 14, Federal Way Detective Matt Leitgeb worked undercover and assumed the Facebook identity of one of the victims in order to correspond with James, according to charging papers. Believing he was texting the boy, James eventually started asking questions like "R u attracted to guys at all?"
In one text exchange, the undercover detective complained about his allowance and how he was having an argument with his parents. James responded, "Awwww..I'd take care of youuuu." The detective asked, "like my boyfriend?" James responded, "Yes.i be ur man." Soon after, James asked the undercover detective if he wanted to meet at the mall and then get a hotel room.
Police obtained a warrant, and on Feb. 18, arrested James at his apartment in the 300 block of South 320th Street of Federal Way.
As a convicted sex offender, James is required to register his address. In 2007, he was convicted of indecent liberties with forcible compulsion against a 5-year-old girl in his family. In 2008, he was convicted of first-degree child molestation, with the victim being a 9-year-old male family member.