Accused child rapist waffles on guilty plea

Mirror staff

A Federal Way man who authorities say met a 13-year-old Texas girl in an Internet chat room, groomed her with sexually explicit photos of young girls and adult men and lured her to his apartment, is trying to back out of a guilty plea that has him facing up to 20 years in prison for child rape.

Jason Eric Cox, 36, pleaded guilty late last year to rape of a child, luring and possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

He said then that he was innocent of a second child rape charge and a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, but pleaded guilty to those charges as part of a plea bargain with King County prosecutors.

Cox has since filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. A court hearing is set for April 16.

Authorities said Cox met the girl in an Internet chat room in April 2002. The first time they communicated on-line, Cox asked how old she was and she told him she was 13, according to charging papers.

Cox e-mailed the girl every day and, within the first week, had sent her sexually explicit photos of female children engaged in sexual activity with adult males, police said.

He allegedly convinced her that such material was alright and eventually got her to e-mail nude photos of herself taken with her Web cam.

The girl told Cox she was having trouble with her parents, so he convinced her to run away and move in with him, police said.

They said he e-mailed instructions to go to a drug store in her hometown where a cab would pick her up and take her to the bus station, where she’d find a bus ticket under a false name for her to use to get to Tacoma.

On March 27 last year, Cox picked her up from a bus station in Tacoma and drove her to his apartment in Federal Way, where he had sex with her four times over several days, authorities said.

The girl called for help on April 1 after Cox left for work. Hours later, Federal Way Police arrested him in Fife.

After a search of his apartment, police reporrted finding pieces of paper on which Cox had written the girl’s travel arrangements, more than 200 printed depictions of minor females –– ages 4 to early teens –– in sexually explicit conduct, and printed material describing sexual activity with children.

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