A 53-year-old Spokane machine shop owner who investigators say had a 10-month email exchange soliciting sex with an undercover Seattle detective posing as a 15-year-old prostitute was released from jail without having to post bail Thursday.
The release of Patrick Rice followed a recommendation by a court employee who said he had “verified ties to the area” and had a lack of criminal history, according to court documents. Rice is accused of commercial sexual abuse of a minor and communication with a minor for immoral purposes, both felonies.
Police reports were not available for review when the court employee made her recommendation, she wrote.
Rice began communicating with the undercover Seattle police detective in August, according to court records. Rice posted an online ad requesting a “young skinny girl” and indicated he was 52. The detective responded, posing as a 15-year-old, and the two began a correspondence that included content of a “graphic sexual nature,” according to investigators.
Rice was arrested without incident Wednesday in the parking lot of a Spokane fast food restaurant.
In his truck, police found condoms and the $200 he and the detective had agreed to as payment for sex, according to court records.
He told police he planned to take a 15-year-old girl in his truck to a private place for sex, court records say. Police described the confession as “apologetic,” according to records. The Seattle detective coordinated with Spokane police to plan the arrest.
Court officials said Rice had no other criminal history. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Gregory Sypolt approved his release without bail Thursday. Rice is set to be arraigned on the charges in early July.
Both are felonies, punishable by a total of up to 15 years in prison.