Man finds police at home where he was expecting teen girls

Suspect traveled from Bellingham to Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — When a 53-year-old Bellingham man approached a Port Angeles home over the weekend, allegedly to have sex with a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, police walked out the front door and placed him under arrest, according to court records.

John Philip Shoosmith appeared in Clallam County Superior Court on Monday, where Judge Lauren Erickson found probable cause for second-degree attempted possession of images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, third-degree attempted rape of a child and first-degree criminal impersonation with sexual motivation.

Judge Lauren Erickson ordered Shoosmith held in the Clallam County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Charges are expected to be filed 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Court records say that when Shoosmith first saw the police exit the front door Saturday, he exclaimed “oh [expletive],” and “that’s not cool,” before dropping a two six-packs of alcohol and a can of whipped cream.

“Shoosmith engaged in several attempts to obtain child pornography and have sexual contact with minors,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson said Monday.

Shoosmith first contacted a mother on Fetlife, a social networking website for people interested in fetishism, and asked for topless pictures of her 14-year-old daughter, a request she told investigators should have been a “red flag.”

“He attempted to leverage that relationship into not only having that mother provide him pornographic images of her two daughters, but to have sexual relations with her two daughters,” Johnson said. “He drove all the way from Bellingham, stopping on the way to get alcohol to consummate his sexual desires.”

Court papers say Shoosmith — who had said his last name was Erickson — and the mother first agreed to meet earlier this month in Port Townsend and Shoosmith asked her to bring her 14-year-old daughter.

Before meeting, Shoosmith said in a text message that he had a fantasy to be with a “barely legal type.” During this meeting, Shoosmith asked the 14-year-old daughter to touch him, according to court papers.

He later told the mother it would never happen again and he told her to delete their conversations, records say. The mother contacted police.

On Friday the mother told police that Shoosmith had asked if her older daughter wanted to be “intimate” with him. On Saturday he asked for permission to have sex with the older daughter, records say.

He asked the mother to delete that message because it “sounds bad.”

Later that morning police obtained a search warrant for a wire and police helped the mother communicate with Shoosmith. Court records say police did not direct the conversation, but asked her not to respond at certain times.

While on his way from Bellingham, Shoosmith said he wanted to have sex with the younger daughter as well, and agreed to purchase whipped cream and hard cider.

At the end of the bail hearing, Shoosmith apologized for the “circumstances.”


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

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