LACEY – A 30-year-old man faces multiple charges after he allegedly coerced a 10-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit photos with a cellphone he had bought for her, court papers state.
The man’s “grooming” to gain the girl’s trust culminated with his molesting her at his apartment after taking her to dinner at the Outback Steakhouse on Valentine’s Day, according to court papers.
Jason Allen Jarrett, 30, of Olympia pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was being held Tuesday at the Thurston County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.
The 10-year-old’s mother and the mother’s boyfriend became suspicious of Jarrett after they discovered texts, including one from Jarrett telling the girl he wanted to marry her, court papers state.
Lacey police detective Bev Reinhold said the case illustrates how important it is for parents to check their children’s cellphones for signs of inappropriate relationships.
“They need to periodically check their kids’ text messages,” she said, adding that juveniles do not have the right to privacy when it comes to matters of parents trying to keep their children safe.
According to court papers:
Jarrett met the girl after she and her mother and other siblings moved into an apartment on 45th Avenue Southwest in Lacey in 2007. Jarrett was a roommate of the mother’s boyfriend before the family moved there. Jarrett shared the apartment with the family from 2007 to January 2011, when he moved out.
The boyfriend reported the matter to Lacey police March 12, after he and the girl’s mother found the texts.
Jarrett had purchased the cellphone as a Christmas present and had offered to pay the girl’s bill before he moved out.
Lacey police found sexually explicit texts from Jarrett on the phone. The girl later told Reinhold she had sent Jarrett sexually explicit photos on her phone at his request. When police confronted Jarrett, he admitted to molesting her.
When Lacey police arrested Jarrett at his Olympia apartment March 15, he stated, “I know the pictures went too far.” As officers drove Jarrett to the police station, Jarrett asked if he’d ever be allowed to see her again.
He said that he loved her and that she “fills the emptiness of his heart.”
Jarrett had worked as a manager of a retail store at the Westfield Capital mall. He has no prior criminal history.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org