A convicted sex offender from Tennessee is under federal arrest in Spokane, accused of raping an 8-year-old boy, filming the encounter and distributing the child porn over the Internet.
If convicted, Timothy S. Oakes faces a minimum of 25 years in prison because of his prior conviction in Tennessee, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aine Ahmed said at a court hearing Thursday.
Oakes, 38, was arraigned on a two-count indictment returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury, accusing him of production and distribution of child pornography.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno ordered Oakes held in jail without bond until a bail hearing early next week.
Outside of court, U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt said an ongoing investigation that may lead to other suspects prevented him from discussing details of the case.
At this point, there have been no other arrests, authorities said.
The investigation is being handled by agents of the Bureau of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), an agency within the new Department of Homeland Security.
Details of the case, including what led federal agents to Oakes, are contained in court documents, sealed from public inspection last week when Oakes was arrested at a home in northeast Spokane. However, a few details about the case surfaced at Thursday’s hearing.
“The allegations here have to do with occurrences within the home,” said Assistant Federal Defender Gerald Smith, who argued Thursday for Oakes’ release from custody.
The federal defender said because Oakes is presumed innocent of the new charges, he should be allowed to return to the home and be confined there with a remote electronic monitor. Oakes also would register as a sex offender, the federal defender said.
Oakes lives with his wife, Shawnna, and there are no longer any children in the home, Smith told the court.
“That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t commit this again with another child,” responded Ahmed, the prosecutor from the U.S. attorney’s office.
“There are many small children in that neighborhood that could have contact with Mr. Oakes,” Ahmed said.
The neighborhoods weren’t identified in court, but authorities later said Oakes was arrested on the 300 block of East Euclid and has lived in an apartment on the 1500 block of East Sprague.
“The charges contained in the indictment allege Mr. Oakes had sex with an 8-year-old boy,” the federal prosecutor told the court.
It wasn’t known if there are laws in Washington requiring Oakes – convicted in another state and released from parole – to register as a sex offender after he moved to Washington.
It also isn’t known when Oakes moved to Washington. He and Shawnna M. Goodwin obtained a marriage license in April in Spokane County, public records show. Shawnna Oakes has not been charged.
Oakes was convicted in Crossville, Tenn., in 1993 of attempted aggravated sexual battery with a boy under 13, public records show.
The new indictment accuses Oakes of producing and distributing child pornography between May 2003 and March 17 of this year. At least nine depictions of the child allegedly have been transported interstate by computer.
The distribution of the child pornography “was for the receipt or expectation of receipt of a thing of value, but not for pecuniary gain,” the indictment alleges, suggesting Oakes may have been trading child porn with others.
In seeking an enhanced sentence if Oakes is convicted, the indictment says the defendant’s conduct was “unusually heinous, cruel, brutal or degrading to the victim.”
Cases involving the alleged possession of child pornography have become fairly routine in federal courts in Spokane and North Idaho, but it is fairly rare that people are charged with manufacturing or production of such material.
In early 2002, a Spokane Valley junior high school janitor, Harry E. Tschernetzki, was arrested for taking sexually explicit pictures of children and storing them on his computer. He got 10 years in prison.
In 1999, Gregory L. McCrea, who had militia ties and a collection of illegal weapons, was sentenced to 26 years in prison for firearms violations and photographing children who he raped.