PORT TOWNSEND — A trial date for a Sequim man charged in a 2018 Net Nanny sting is expected to be reset again this week following another continuance.
David Lee Sprague, 35, is scheduled to appear Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court in front of Judge Keith Harper, who will consider setting the date.
Sprague has had the trial date set seven times since he was arrested and charged in March 2018 with first-degree and second-degree attempted rape of a child. Both are Class A felonies punishable by a maximum of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
The dates have been either continued or stricken for various reasons, the most recent of which occurred Nov. 26, when defense attorney Richard Davies of Jefferson Associated Counsel said a key witness would be unavailable to testify during a trial that was scheduled to start Dec. 2.
Sprague appeared by video monitor last Friday from the Jefferson County Jail, where he remained Saturday in lieu of $70,000 bail.
During the status conference, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Julie St. Marie said she was attempting to solidify times in January when all of the state’s witnesses could be present.
Davies said a state trooper on the defense’s witness list is available in January and February, and a separate law enforcement officer can testify in late January or March.
Davies also questioned the Nov. 22 decision to revoke Sprague’s conditions of release.
Court Commissioner Eileen Baratuci found cause that Sprague had used his phone to access the internet for purposes other than school or work and may have committed additional crimes, both violations that led to Sprague being taken into custody in the courtroom.
Laura Lazelle of Beaverton, Ore., testified last month that she had met Sprague through a Facebook dating app and said she gained access to Sprague’s phone and found other women with whom he had been sending lewd images.
Davies said the circumstances that led Sprague to commit those violations have changed.
“Mr. Sprague is no longer involved in a relationship with Ms. Lazelle, and to not have a phone that can access the internet, that’s difficult to have these days,” Davies said.
Davies said if Sprague were to post bail or be released on personal recognizance, he could live in a trailer across the street from his grandparents in Sequim.
Sprague was one of 10 men arrested and charged with attempted rape of a child following the four-day, multi-agency Net Nanny operation.
Court documents allege Sprague answered a Craigslist ad posted by an undercover State Patrol sergeant March 22, 2018, and proceeded to engage in email and text messages with an undercover detective.
The detective was posing as a mother who was offering her daughters, 12 and 8, for sex.
Sprague sent dozens of suggestive text messages and several photos of his body parts to the detective, and he was arrested at a predetermined Port Hadlock location with his phone, three condoms and lubricant, according to court documents.
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].