Child molestation suspect was working at Monroe fair’s kiddie land

  • Thu Aug 30th, 2012 7:45pm
  • News

By Eric Stevick Herald Writer

EVERETT — A Sultan woman awaiting trial on child molestation charges was hauled back to jail Wednesday after she was spotted working at a “kiddie land” booth at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, officials said.

A Snohomish County Superior Court judge on Thursday doubled the bail to $100,000 after finding Caitlin Ferry violated the conditions of her pre-trial release.

Ferry, 23, is charged with child molestation and sexual exploitation of a child.

She is identified in court papers as the former girlfriend of Enrique Sanchez-Leon, 39, who pleaded guilty to three counts of child rape, two counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography. He recently was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Police seized computers containing video and photographs from the Snohomish apartment the couple once shared. A detective in court papers described the extensive nature of Sanchez-Leon’s crimes as “horrifying.”

Ferry is nude in a series of photographs recovered by detectives, prosecutors said. With her is a naked child, age 7.

Ferry was arrested in January and soon released from jail on $50,000 bail pending trial. The judge set restrictions for her release. One of the conditions was that she have no contact with minor children “or knowingly be in a location in which children are present or congregate,” court papers said.

Prosecutors on Wednesday received a tip that Ferry was employed at the Evergreen State Fair working in “kiddie land,” an amusement area for children, according to court papers.

A Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy then contacted Ferry inside the fairgrounds in an area that was “clearly decorated and intended for small children,” court papers said.

She told investigators that she was working at an amusement game commonly referred to as the “kiddie striker.”

Ferry was hired by Butler Amusements, a company that runs a number of carnival activities at the fair, Snohomish County spokesman Chris Schwarzen said.

Everyone the company hires, including workers who travel from fair to fair and local hires, go through background checks, Schwarzen said.

Nothing turned up on the defendant because she has no criminal convictions, he said.

What happened with Ferry is a “serious issue” and something the county and the company already are examining in hopes of avoiding similar problems, Schwarzen said.

“They did what they should have done with the background checks but clearly there is a flaw in the system,” he said.

Ferry allegedly admitted to investigators that she knew she was violating the conditions of her release.

She told investigators she told other employees at the fair that she “couldn’t be around” children and was nervous about working in “kiddie land” because it was a violation of her conditions or release.

She told investigators she hoped she would be moved to another job in which she wouldn’t be around children.

Adam Cornell, a deputy prosecutor, said Ferry must be held accountable for putting herself in the position she was in.

“It’s the defendant’s responsibility to abide by the conditions,” he said.

Judge David Kurtz doubled her bail and required that at least 10 percent be paid in cash. He also required electronic home monitoring if she is released.

Schwarzen said little time elapsed once Ferry shared with co-workers concerns about her job at “kiddie land.”

“She started talking about it, and within 30 minutes she was arrested for violating the conditions related to her bail,” he said.

Investigators say Sanchez-Leon’s crimes were captured in the tens of thousands of disturbing images they found while searching the man’s apartment and reviewing the contents of 30 computers and 60 external hard drives.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446,