A Seattle drug treatment counselor accused of attempting to rape a 10-year-old boy has pleaded guilty.
Charged in September 2011, David Allan Scratchley attempted to rape a 10-year-old boy at his Seattle apartment. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted child molestation and is scheduled to be sentenced early next month.
A prominent substance abuse counselor at the Matt Talbot Center, Scratchley, 53, told a patient at the center that he planned to have sex with the boy. The woman told police, who arrested Scratchley and found the boy at the counselor’s Belltown apartment.
“He has manipulated not only this victim and his mother, but an entire community,” Spoor said in court documents, “predatory” in nature, and that the counselor abused the trust placed in him by the community.
Described by prosecutors as a predator, Scratchley had been heralded as a "renowned advocate on issues of child safety" prior to his arrest. Formerly a director at a Seattle child psychiatric facility, Scratchley taught at Seattle University and had been employed as the clinical director at the Matt Talbot Center, a facility for adults with severe drug or alcohol problems.
On Sept. 1, 2011, Seattle police received a report from a 46-year-old woman who claimed to have been in a relationship with Scratchley for two years. Speaking with investigators, the woman said Scratchley smoked cocaine and other drugs with her, according to charging documents.
More troublingly, Scratchley said he fantasized about having sex with children and said he had abused kids in the past, a Seattle detective told the court. The woman became afraid when Scratchley told her he planned to rape a young boy at his home later that day.
According to charging documents, the woman and Scratchley exchanged text messages discussing how they would sexually assault the boy. Scratchley allegedly told her to come to his home in the 2800 block of Western Avenue, where the boy and cocaine were waiting for her.
Sexual assault detectives and other officers responded to the home hoping to find the child. Arriving at the scene, police spoke with the woman and were then greeted by the 10-year-old as he walked out of the building elevator.
Calling Scratchley "my friend," the boy told he had been alone with Scratchley alone on several occasions.
That day Scratchley told him they "were going to do really fun things."
Officers recovered a series of text messages from Scratchley describing the boy's genitals in detail while referring to the planned rape as a "play date.” The detective added that police searching Scratchley's home found drug paraphernalia as well as his phone, which contained a text message describing his own drug use and plans for the "play date."
Having pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree child molestation, Scratchley faces a 4 ½ year prison term. He could also be held indefinitely should corrections officials believe he continues to pose a threat to the public.
Author: Levi Pulkkinen
Date: April 17, 2013
BY LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
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