Guilty plea for Naval Base's top NCO

The Naval Base Kitsap non-commissioned officer caught in an Internet sting pleaded guilty this week to two counts of conspiracy to commit child rape and communication with a minor.

Edward E. Scott, 43, first indicated he would plead not guilty to charges stemming from an incident on March 16. Scott arrived at a Bremerton hotel expecting to have sex with a woman and her 12-year-old twins, whom he met on-line.

The “woman” was actually a police detective, who had been communicating with Scott for a month.

After the guilty plea, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Leonard Costello indicated the sentencing range is 90 months, or seven and a half years.

Since his arrest, Scott has been held in the Kitsap County jail on a $150,000 bond.

His sentencing date is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 21.

One sentencing option is to impose a short jail term followed by an extended period of community supervision for sex offenders who admit their crime. Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge indicated his office would not support this option for Scott.

“We made no concessions in this case,” Hauge said. “This sentence is in the middle range for the crime committed.”

Hauge said neither the crime nor the sentence are unusual.

“This has become almost typical,” Hauge said. “There are 30-, 40- and 50-year old males who troll for and attempt to hook up with pre-pubescent kids on-line, for sexual purposes. This case has shown us that this is a serious problem in Kitsap County, as it is with cities across the country.”

Hauge said Internet chat rooms reflected “a dark world.”

Scott is only one example of respected community members who are caught in similar traps. Hauge said the existence of Internet chat rooms made it easier for these impulses to surface.

“Before there were chat rooms, people had to make a dangerous effort in order to fulfill these desires,” he said. “You would think that these people would think about whether they are going to get caught. Or they would be smart enough to do a cost/benefit analysis about what might happen. The punishment should act as a deterrent.”

Scott’s friends and co-workers expressed surprise about his alleged predilections. Hauge said when an attorney or other public figure is caught committing such a crime, he is disappointed but not surprised.

“I’ve been in law enforcement long enough that I’m cynical about everybody,” he said.

Regardless of the sentence, Scott will not be released until it is determined that he was no longer a danger to the community.

Hauge said he trusted the criminal justice system to make that judgment.

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