EVERETT — A Marysville man who has admitted to sexually abusing multiple young girls across decades was sent away Tuesday to begin a prison sentence he’s unlikely to outlive.
Darrell Lynn Arp, 69, was sentenced to a minimum 10 years in prison. He won’t again see freedom unless he can in the future convince a state board that it is safe for him to again roam free.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair said she was convinced locking up Arp is the only way to keep others safe.
The gray haired man’s shoulders slumped as the judge announced her decision. He sighed and shook his head as if in disbelief.
Arp was known for cruising around his Marysville neighborhood on a bicycle, sometimes in the company of elementary school-aged girls. He’s been locked up since last summer after being accused of sexually abusing a girl, 11, a crime that suspicious strangers partially captured on video and alerted police.
Arp initially denied wrongdoing but recently pleaded guilty. He took a shot at potentially convincing the judge to give him less time behind bars under a special sentence for sex offenders who are deemed good candidates for treatment.
Deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn always had made clear he would recommend a maximum sentence for Arp. Under the law, that was roughly a decade behind bars, followed the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board weighing in on whether the defendant should regain freedom.
A sex offender treatment provider who examined Arp gave what Fair characterized as a “less-than ringing endorsement” of the defendant’s suitability for out-of-custody treatment.
One issue was Arp’s attempt to downplay other bad acts.
When confronted with polygraph results indicating deception, he ultimately admitted engaging in sexual behavior with under age people multiple times throughout his life: two girls in their mid teens while he was in his 20s; a 15-year-old when he was 35; 20 instances of abuse of a 12-year-old when he was 45; plus other victims at 55, 65 and 69.
Langbehn said the findings only brought one phrase to mind.
“That is ‘sexual predator,’” he said.
Arp on Tuesday had urged the judge to give him another chance. He said he knew he’d abused others’ trust.
“It wasn’t planned,” he said. “It was something that developed over time.”
Police learned of Arp’s crimes after two strangers became concerned when they saw an older man with a young girl, seated behind a security fence at a now-closed grocery store in Marysville. The pair used cellphone video to document the girl sitting on Arp’s lap and his response when confronted over what appeared to be sexual behavior.
Arp, claimed he and the girl were “just playing.” They then hopped on nearby bicycles and rode away.
The people who confronted Arp brought the video to Marysville police. A detective was able to create still photographs of the girl, who was identified after the images were shown to staff at an area elementary school.
Arp was linked through social media. Police learned that he spent a lot of time with the girl.
Arp ultimately admitted sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions. He pleaded guilty to first-degree rape of a child. He said he’d given the girl money and a bike.
If ever set free, Arp will be required to register as a sex offender.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.