Michael Stanley denies sex offences, vows new life
Edmonton fugitive sidesteps threat of arrest by registering as sex offender in Washington
Michael Stanley — the violent, high-risk sex offender who cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet earlier this month — says the public has him all wrong and that all he is trying to do is start a new life in the U.S.
The 48-year-old American citizen, who was living in Edmonton before he went missing, was located by police in Washington state on Thursday after he slipped into the country through B.C.
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He was not arrested, because authorities in Alberta have not sought his extradition. However, Stanley was told he would be arrested if he did not register as a sex offender, and on Friday, he agreed to join that state's registry.
That same day, Stanley was chased down by a reporter and cameraman with KIRO in Seattle. At first, Stanley ran away, refused to talk and even threatened to attack the cameraman. Eventually, he agreed to an interview.
"I haven't done anything wrong," he insisted, then proceeded to downplay and deny his history of violent offences, some involving children.
In the late 1980s, Stanley spent nine years in prison for the aggravated sexual assault of an 82-year-old Lethbridge, Alta., woman who was in a wheelchair. During Friday's interview, Stanley said he was wrongly convicted.
In 2006, Stanley was jailed for assault and unlawful confinement after luring two mentally impaired boys to an Edmonton apartment. One boy was 13, the other was nine. Stanley said the incident was minor.
"The confinement was, 'No, you can't go through the door'.…The assault was pushing them away."
After Stanley was released from jail on those charges in 2011, he was ordered to obey several conditions under a peace bond, including staying close to Edmonton and away from children. He said he tried several times to get his life back together, but the conditions were too restrictive.
"They wouldn't let me leave. They said, 'Well, as long as you're under this condition you ain't doing nothing.'"
On Oct. 1, he said, he'd had enough and planned to return to the U.S. He drove from Edmonton to Lloydminster on the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary, where he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet.
"I said I'm leaving this country because it hasn't been good to me. All they've been doing is belittle me, shafted me, making me look like I was some menace."
Police were alerted and a manhunt was launched.
Stanley said that when he arrived in B.C. several days later, he got into a fight and had his ID stolen. Undeterred, he bought a bus ticket to Seattle. When he arrived at the Blaine, Wash., crossing, he said, U.S. border guards took him into custody in shackles, but let him go when they determined there were no warrants for his arrest in the U.S.
Alberta's solicitor general has decided the charges Stanley is currently wanted on are not severe enough to justify asking American authorities to extradite him.
Since arriving in Seattle last week, Stanley said, his life has been difficult because of media reports.
"I've been shafted everywhere. Everyone recognizes my face."
He said he is unable to find a place to live and has been walking the streets. He said he registered as "homeless" on the sex-offender registry.
On Friday, he vowed that he is no danger to society and is fine if police continue to monitor him.
"Nobody knows what I'm about. Like I said, I'm not out there committing crimes, I'm not raping people, I'm not killing people, I'm not doing anybody wrong."
As for the possibility he may one day be extradited to Canada, Stanley was defiant.
"I don't see how theycan do it. I'm American first. I was born here."