Convicted child rapist Michael West entered a plea of not guilty in Pierce County Superior Court on Tuesday to a charge of failure to register as a level II sex offender. Tacoma Police arrested the 43-year-old a few hours after he was featured on “Washington’s Most Wanted” last Saturday night. Officers located him in a car in an AM/PM parking lot on South Sprague Avenue thanks to anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County.
“This is the second time he’s been caught through ‘Washington’s Most Wanted’ viewers,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer.
In 2014, the Tacoma Police Gang Unit arrested West after receiving a Crime Stoppers tip about the vehicle he was using. West moved to Tacoma from Snohomish County after he was convicted in 1995 of rape of a child in the second degree and rape in the third degree. The victim was a 13-year-old girl. In 2009, West exposed himself to a woman at a bus stop and was convicted of indecent exposure.
Detectives say he has refused to participate in sex offender treatment programs. He’s been convicted of felony failure to register as a sex offender four times since 2007.
“As he continues to fail to register, it adds up in points so the prosecutor’s office will decide what, if any, extra time he’ll get,” said Troyer.
West has been classified by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office as a high priority offender. If he is convicted on the new charge of failure to register as a sex offender, he could be sentenced to 43 months in prison.
“Our High Priority Offender program was specifically designed to take repeat offenders off the streets. This is an objective crime-fighting tool based on the offender’s history and specific offense to reduce crime by holding career criminals accountable,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. West is being held on $150,000 bail.