North Sound school psychologist among those arrested in online underage sex sting

REDMOND, Wash. — Three Washington men were arrested on charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes following a five-month sting by Redmond police.

Detectives posed as 14 and 15-year-old girls on social media sites and dating apps.

Redmond police said the suspects engaged in sexually motivated conversations despite being told multiple times they were corresponding with an underage girl.

On Oct. 8, detectives arrested 49-year-old Lance Ray Egli, a school psychologist in Snohomish County.

Egli is listed as a school psychologist for Monroe High School on the district’s website.

The Monroe School District issued a statement that read, “The Monroe School District has learned of criminal allegations against one of our staff members, Monroe High School psychologist Lance Egli. It is our present understanding that the allegations do not involve students of the district in any fashion. The staff member has been placed on administrative leave pending law enforcement’s handling of this criminal matter. During this leave, the staff member is not permitted on district property, to participate in district events, or have contact with any students of the district. The district is cooperating with law enforcement and has started an internal investigation.”

Egli is in the King County Correctional Facility on a $100,000 bond.

In September, 46-year-old Garrett Swanzy of Tacoma was taken into custody.

Redmond police said Swanzy thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old.

After using photographic evidence, detectives said they learned he worked as support staff for a King County hospital.

In May, 57-year-old Jeffrey Ralph of Yakima was arrested.

Detectives said Ralph arranged a meeting with who he thought was an underage girl, after weeks of corresponding. He was arrested near Downtown Park.

“Children are at risk of being the victim of online child predators anytime they use social networking apps,” Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said. “I’m proud of our officers and detectives for their dedication to keeping our children safe. With the increasing number of social networking apps, it is more important than ever for parents of teens to be vigilant about their child’s online activity and to have open conversations about appropriate behaviors.”