Sex offender who fled Canada found in Seattle, but is free from arrest

SEATTLE -- His name is Michael Stanley. He is a 48-year-old American citizen and convicted sex offender in Canada.

Canadian officials describe him as a violent, dangerous sexual predator who is a high risk to re-offend. He was convicted of sexually assaulting a wheelchair-bound elderly woman and very young girls.

He was also convicted of luring two young boys and flashing children.

Stanley served his time in Alberta, Canada, and was being monitored with an ankle bracelet when he cut it off Oct. 1 and then crossed the U.S./Canadian border in Blaine, Wash., one week later.

When Stanley crossed into the United States, he apparently did so legally.

After a week and a half search, Seattle police and U.S. marshals got a tip and found Stanley in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood early Thursday.

While there is a warrant for his arrest in Canada for cutting off his ankle bracelet, Canadian officials say it is not an offense for which they will seek to extradite him. In other words, he is a U.S. problem now.

So, in spite of this sexual predator's history, Stanley has committed no offense in the United States and American law enforcement's hands are tied.

"With them unwilling to extradite, we can’t arrest on that warrant, so the warrant is essentially invalid and because he has not committed a crime in Washington or Seattle that we know of, he hasn’t committed a law violation that we know of, we have nothing to arrest him on,” Seattle Police Department spokesman Jeff Kappel said.

That may be so but it doesn't sit well will people living downtown who have a new neighbor they'd rather not have.

"I think Canada is really dropping the ball on this and I don't think they're taking criminals very seriously,” downtown Seattle resident Stephanie Hunt said.

"What are we gonna do with him? He's a U.S. citizen but the Canadians don't want him so the Canadians are kind of dumping him on us,” fellow resident Lincoln Brigham said.

Seattle police said while Stanley is not wanted for a crime here, he is a convicted sex offender in Canada and, as such, is required to register as a sex offender with a local law enforcement agency and check in regularly. If he fails to do that, he could be arrested, police say.