Ex-carnival worker gets 7 years for child porn

EVERETT — A former carnival worker with an admitted sexual attraction to little girls is off to prison for sending and receiving hundreds of images and videos of children being abused.

“He has demonstrated himself to be the kind of person parents fear,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul wrote in court papers.

Dale Fager, 38, worked across the country operating carnival rides for children. Last summer a Seattle police detective caught up with Fager at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. Fager was working under a false name and was under investigation for uploading nearly 500 images and videos containing child pornography. Fager used the online handle “Karney37,” likely a play on the word carney, short for carnival worker.

The defendant was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison. Before handing down the sentence, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel questioned Fager to determine whether the defendant would cop to having a problem. Appel asked Fager if he believes he should get sexual deviancy treatment.

“It is something I do need. I will admit that,” Fager said.

He will be under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections for about three years once he’s released from prison. During that time he will be required to get sex offender treatment. He’ll be prohibited from accessing the Internet or being around children.

If he had been sentenced to the maximum, about 9 1/2 years, his time under community supervision would have been cut in half.

Appel agreed to the low-end sentence in part because Fager pleaded guilty and spared the state a trial. The judge also said he thought the community would be better served by Fager being under community supervision for longer after his release from prison, during which time he must undergo treatment.

Fager’s legal troubles may not be over. The Seattle police detective who investigated the child pornography case told the judge on Monday that Fager is under investigation in another state for other sex crimes.

Appel said he couldn’t consider that information to determine Fager’s sentence for possessing child pornography.

Fager initially came to the attention of police after Microsoft alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that its digital services had been used to upload child pornography. Fager’s account showed that he was a prolific child pornography trader.

Fager was arrested Aug. 30 while he was working for a contract company that operated the carnival at the fair in Monroe. He told detectives he had been doing similar work for a couple of decades. There was no evidence that Fager engaged in any misconduct involving children he encountered while working in Monroe.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, hefley@heraldnet.com.

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