A convicted high-risk sex offender who eluded police in Saskatchewan and Alberta before crossing the U.S. border says he just wants to start a new life.
Seattle’s KIRO-TV News tracked down Michael Sean Stanley on the street on Friday after he registered with authorities in the city.
The 48-year-old explained what went through his mind as he spent a week on the run after cutting off his electronic-monitoring bracelet in Lloydminster, on the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary.
“I said I had enough. I’m leaving this country because it hasn’t been good to me,” said Stanley, who said he has a brother in Seattle and spent part of his childhood there.
“All they’ve been doing is belittle me, shafting me, making me look like I’m some kind of menace, some creep, some pedophile, some kind of guy that didn’t deserve to be out in the community.”
During the lengthy interview with KIRO-TV, Stanley repeatedly denied responsibility for several of the crimes for which he was convicted, including assault and forcible confinement involving two mentally challenged boys and the sexual assault of an elderly woman.
Parole board records said he lured the boys into a washroom, blew crack smoke in their faces and then sexually assaulted them.
The parole board also noted Stanley had not participated in any programming that might reduce his risk to reoffend and that he only took limited responsibility for his actions.
In his interview with KIRO-TV, Stanley described how he was able to cross the border into Washington state despite warnings that had been issued by Edmonton police.
“They pulled me, they shackled me, they checked the warrant and said B.C. didn’t want to act on it because it was an Alberta provincial warrant,” Stanley said.
“And they said if they’re not acting on it, you’re free there. You don’t have no warrants in America, you’re free to go.”
He said he has registered with officials in Seattle and does not intend to commit any crimes.
“I told them, ‘I don’t care, you can walk down the street with me but you’re not going to catch me doing anything,’ ” he told the Seattle station, adding he only wants to “start out fresh and live a free life. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West confirmed Friday that Stanley had registered as a sex offender as required by police.
Authorities located him in downtown Seattle on Thursday and said he would be arrested if he failed to register within three days.
Stanley has a long history of sexual offences against women and children and had been missing since Oct. 1.
Edmonton police said they warned U.S. counterparts that he might try to cross the border, but U.S. officials allowed him in after determining he was an American citizen and not the subject of an extraditable arrest warrant.
Last weekend, Alberta Justice announced it would not seek Stanley’s extradition to Canada because the breach of recognizance, mischief and driving charges he faces north of the border don’t involve violence.
Alberta Justice acknowledged Stanley’s violent record, but said the charges he is currently facing “do not typically warrant engaging the extradition process.” The department said it was prepared to prosecute him if he tried to return to Canada.
At least one Canadian extradition expert has sided with leaving Stanley in the U.S., saying extradition would be costly and any punishment under the charges he faces would be minimal.
But Alberta’s official Opposition Wildrose party has called the government’s actions “morally reprehensible” and demanded that Justice Minister Jonathan Denis try to get Stanley back.
Stanley’s criminal record in Canada dates back to 1987.
He was being monitored by police under a peace bond with conditions, including one ordering him to stay away from children.