An Idaho man has been indicted for allegedly traveling to the Tri-Cities to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.
What Kenneth W. Allison did not realize is the girl he’d been chatting with through email and text messages actually was an undercover cop.
Allison, 36, agreed to bring Skittles and condoms for his meet-up with the girl, court documents said.
He was arrested Sept. 14 when he showed up at a prearranged location in Richland. He intended to take the girl back to his hotel room in Kennewick, documents said.
Allison initially was charged in Benton County Superior Court with attempted second-degree rape of a child. His trial in that case is scheduled Feb. 20.
He posted bond after his bail was reduced to $60,000 from $100,000, and he signed a waiver of extradition so he could return to his hometown of Rathdrum.
Earlier this week, a federal grand jury returned an indictment for travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and attempted enticement of a minor.
Allison appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
He has a Jan. 22 trial date in the Richland federal courthouse before Judge Sal Mendoza Jr.
It isn’t known if Allison’s Benton County case will move forward or be dismissed following the federal indictment.
He faces 30 years in federal prison if convicted of the charge involving travel for sex.
Allison is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in the Spokane County Jail. A detention hearing is set for Monday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel Holland, in her motion to keep Allison locked up until trial, cited community safety and the “serious risk” that he will take off given his potential sentence.
Court documents show that Richland police Detective Jeff Bickford was working an operation in northern Idaho targeting people who had made online contact with fictitious minors for sex. Bickford also is a Homeland Security Investigations task force officer.
The detective first started talking with Allison on Aug. 25 via email, then switched to text messages, documents said.
Allison allegedly believed the person on the other end of the communications was a 13-year-old girl, and made plans to drive about 175 miles to have sex with her.
When he was arrested at the meeting spot, Allison had a grocery bag in his car with some of the items he agreed to bring for the girl, court documents said.
He later told detectives in an interview that his sole reason for traveling to the Tri-Cities was to rendezvous with the teen, documents said.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day's top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter