Share story

It was disconcerting to learn that a man who fled Canada, where he’d been convicted of sex crimes against women and children, had taken up residence somewhere near the Pike Market Child Care & Preschool, the day care’s executive director said Monday.

But Ilene Stark said she’s grateful that the Pike Place Market security team has been on top of the situation.

“We’re very fortunate,” Stark said. “The head of market security came by on Friday and showed us photos of the man, which we’ve shared with all the parents and all the teachers.”

Michael Sean Stanley, 48, has been convicted in Canada of raping an 82-year-old woman who used a wheelchair and of luring and sexually assaulting two mentally challenged boys, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC). He was charged with exposing himself to young children in 2000 and with sexually assaulting a young girl in 2004, CBC reported.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

Upon his release from prison in April 2011, he was ordered to be supervised by a police behavioral specialist in Edmonton and required to wear an electronic-monitoring device.

On Oct 1, Stanley, cut off his electronic anklet and a Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued. Two weeks ago, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police locked down schools in several west-central Saskatchewan communities after Stanley’s vehicle was found in the area.

However, the U.S. citizen entered the U.S. legally after presenting himself to customs agents at the Blaine border crossing, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say Stanley’s right to privacy prohibits the agency from discussing why he wasn’t turned over to Canadian authorities.

Canadian authorities said Stanley is an untreated violent sex offender with a “horrendous record” and a high risk of reoffending, but Alberta’s Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement saying that the charge for which he is now wanted — escape from community custody — does not warrant extradition.

U.S. authorities say that without an extradition request and a reciprocal warrant out of Canada, there’s little they can do because Stanley is not wanted for any crime in the United States.

Further, it is unclear whether Stanley is legally required to register as a sex offender, according to Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Court records show that he has several criminal convictions in Washington, including King County, but was never convicted of a sexual offense.

West said Stanley’s offenses did not require him to register as a sex offender in Canada, and local law enforcement is still waiting for documentation from Canada to determine whether he is legally required to register in the United States. That will depend on whether his offenses are comparable to U.S. offenses that require registration, she said.

Stanley was tracked down in Seattle at the end of last week and told to register as a sex offender in the interim, she said.

Records show he registered as a sex offender and said he was transient, listing his general location as First Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle, near Pike Place Market and one block from the preschool, according to records.

He was classified as a Level 2 offender, records show.

According to the sheriff’s website, Level 2 offenders have a moderate risk of reoffending, generally have more than one victim and may be long-term abusers who groom their victims from among people who trust them.

West said Stanley could be reclassified using a state-approved scoring tool once it is determine whether he will be required to register in the United States.

She said that unless a person is being monitored by the state Department of Corrections or has probation restrictions on where they may live, a sex offender can live near a school or child-care facility.

“It’s extremely upsetting and disconcerting,” Stark said, “but it’s great that our security is 100 percent vigilant and aware.”

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report. Christine Clarridge 206-464-8983 or

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.