Court sets $100,000 bond for man accused of fourth-degree assault

PORT TOWNSEND — A transient man charged with fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation is being held in jail on $100,000 bond.

Brian Judah Michalek, 56, is charged with allegedly touching a teenage girl inappropriately at the Boiler Room in Port Townsend, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty to the gross misdemeanor charge in Jefferson County District Court on Tuesday and has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for July 11.

Several Port Townsend residents had called police in the days before the alleged incident to complain that Michalek was acting strangely, police said. They told police he was watching and photographing children, police said. Facebook posts showed his photograph and said he was approaching children.

It is not a crime to take pictures of people in public spaces. The arresting officer wrote in the report that Michalek’s actions — including taking photos of children — show he was acting with sexual motivation.

City Prosecutor Chris Ashcraft said he had asked for $50,000 bond, but District Court Judge Jill Landes doubled his request, citing concerns of public safety.

“I think it was a good decision on her part,” Ashcraft said. “Based on his history, I didn’t think he would post the $50,000.”

Ashcraft said Landes added more conditions of release than what he had asked for.

Landes ordered Michalek not to go within 500 feet of areas where children are present, not to take photos of people in public places and not to own or possess any type of digital camera, including tablets and cell phones.

Teenage girls told police that Michalek had gone to the Boiler Room, 711 Water Street, on May 30 and 31 and was trying to sneak pictures of them and that he allegedly touched one of the girls on her buttocks, according to a police report.

Michalek told police he did not intentionally touch anyone, but may have accidentally brushed past the teen.

The girl told police that there was plenty of room for Michalek to walk around her without touching her. She said the incident left her scared and shaking.

A volunteer manager who told police he saw Michalek watching the girls asked him to leave the business. The volunteer manager reported the incident June 4 as Michalek was sitting across the street at a bus stop.

Police confirmed that Michalek had posted photos of young girls around town on his Facebook page. When police approached Michalek on Monday he allowed officers to look through his tablet. Officers saw a handful of photos of one of the girls at the Boiler Room.

Michalek initially stated that his name was “Brian Watson,” but an Arkansas ID in his wallet indicated otherwise, police said.

Police said they are considering recommending another charge for providing a false statement to law enforcement.


Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

More in Crime

PHOTO: Chain gang dismantles nuisance RVs near Port Angeles

The shattered remains of an abandoned recreational vehicle await final demolition as… Continue reading

Molestation trial date set

A Sequim man has pleaded not guilty to molesting… Continue reading

Man arrested for investigation of Port Townsend arson

A man with no known address has been arrested… Continue reading

Port Angeles hotel robbed; police say suspect was wearing red, yellow contacts

City police on Saturday were investigating an early-morning robbery… Continue reading

OPNET says meth stopped on way to prison

An alleged gang-related plan to smuggle drugs into Clallam… Continue reading

Assaults on Clallam County jail staff increase

The Clallam County jail has seen a sharp uptick… Continue reading

Travel trailer stolen from Forks

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office was investigating Tuesday the theft… Continue reading

Man arrested after stolen Yukon is pulled over in Port Angeles traffic stop

A 34-year-old Port Angeles man remained jailed Sunday after… Continue reading