Snohomish child rapist may never see freedom

EVERETT — A Snohomish man on Wednesday admitted that he sexually assaulted and exploited children, the youngest who was 3 years old.

Enrique Sanchez-Leon, 39, pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to three counts of child rape, two counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and possessing child pornography.

Detectives say the sex abuse case is one of the worst they have encountered. If he receives the expected lengthy sentence, there is a good chance Sanchez-Leon will never again see freedom.

Prosecutors said Sanchez-Leon cataloged his crimes, creating tens of thousands of disturbing images of him sexually assaulting and exploiting children, including two young sisters who broke their silence late last year.

Investigators identified seven victims, ranging from 3 to 16 years old. Some told detectives they were assaulted. Others reported that the defendant took sexually explicit photographs of them, plying them with gifts or offering them money.

Sanchez-Leon signed a plea agreement that calls for a minimum 35-year prison term. That punishment would go beyond the standard sentencing range set by state law.

Sanchez-Leon could be in custody even longer. Once he’s served the minimum sentence, he will have to convince the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board that he’s ready for freedom before he would be released. He also could be deported after his sentence is served.

“It’s effectively a life sentence should the court follow the recommendations of the parties,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell said.

“We spent a great deal of time consulting with the victims’ families and, when appropriate, the victims themselves,” Cornell said. “They support the resolution of the case.”

Sentencing was set for June 19.

A co-defendant, Sultan resident Caitlin Ferry, 23, has been charged with child molestation and sexually exploiting a child.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Pair of intrepid musicians climb N. Cascades summits to play

Rose Freeman and Anastasia Allison pack their instruments up mountains for high-altitude recitals.

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Oregon senator punished over alleged inappropriate touching

Democratic Sen. Sara Gelser didn’t identify anyone by name.

Most Read