• Sex offender caught trying to lure boy gets life in prison


    MONTESANO, Wash. - A convicted sex offender who was caught trying to lure an 11-year-old Elma boy was sentenced Monday by a Grays Harbor County judge to life in prison without parole.


    Joel Alexander was convicted of attempted child rape. Because he was convicted 11 years ago of child rape, he was sentenced to life in prison under Washington's persistent offender law.


    As Alexander was brought into the courtroom, the mother of his young victim was waiting, said KIRO 7 Eyewitness News South Sound Bureau Chief Richard Thompson.


    "He is the foulest excuse for a human being that any one person can imagine," said the victim's mother.


    Alexander worked on a sprint car pit team and used his position to start trading Facebook messages with the boy.  The boy's mother noticed inappropriate messages and called police.


    Video obtained by KIRO 7 Eyewitness News showed Alexander driving towards an Elma park, where police posing as the boy online had agreed to meet Alexander for sex.


    But as Alexander approached the bathroom, expecting to meet the child, he was confronted instead by Elma police and the State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force.


    The boy's mother told the judge that Alexander needs to be locked up for life.


    "We wholeheartedly believe that God himself put this monster in our path to stop his reign of terror and make sure he could never harm another child again," the child's mother said.


    Alexander had no comment in court before being sentenced. He is appealing his conviction.


    The victim's mother said her son is doing well and wants to become a police officer.

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