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Prosecutors link posts on Facebook to abuse

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By Diana Hefley
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- Prosecutors say a Seattle man posed as a high school student on Facebook to help facilitate the sexual abuse of a south Snohomish County girl.
Using a phony Facebook persona, the man allegedly persuaded the girl to send sexually explicit photographs. He also sent her graphic pictures, court papers said. The girl told investigators she believed that she and the high school boy were in an online dating relationship.
She was unaware that the suspect, who is known to her, was behind the posts.
Prosecutors allege that when the girl refused to have sex with the suspect, he took to Facebook to manipulate her. The fake high school boy encouraged her to allow the suspect to have sex with her, persuading the girl that what the defendant was doing was acceptable, court papers said. The defendant also allegedly used his fake Facebook identity to instruct her on sexual techniques.
The girl reported that the defendant sexually assaulted her dozens of times between 2010 and 2012. She was 13 when the abuse started, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell wrote in court papers.
The man, 40, was charged Wednesday with child rape and molestation. He could face additional charges stemming from multiple incidents that allegedly occurred in King County.
The Herald is not reporting the suspect's name to help protect the girl's identity.
The defendant, who is from Nepal, once helped start the WPPC Nepal Foundation, which claims to fight against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children. It reportedly raises money and works to increase awareness about human trafficking in Nepal while helping victims.
After the criminal allegations surfaced, the man was removed from the foundation's board of directors, officials with the group said.
Investigators say the girl stepped forward last month. She confided in a church youth group leader that she was being raped. She then told her mother, court papers said.
The man was arrested earlier this month. He posted bail and has since been released from jail. He is expected to answer to the charges on March 25.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;
Story tags » LynnwoodSex Crimes

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