- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

SEATTLE (AP) - A Portland, Oregon, man was arrested after he authorities say he traveled to Washington state to sexually molest a 5-year-old girl.

Dirk Tichgelaar, 44, was arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in northwestern Washington. He was charged Monday in U.S. District Court in Seattle with enticement of a minor the Bellingham Herald reported.

Between October 2019 and January 2020, Tichgelaar used an internet-based chat platform to communicate with an undercover Homeland Security agent about sexual abuse of children, according to a U.S. Department of Justice.

Tichgelaar expressed an interest in traveling to the agent’s location in Washington to sexually abuse a girl, according to court records.

In followup emails, the agent gave Tichgelaar an address in northwestern Washington’s Whatcom County, the records state.



On Jan. 25, Homeland Security agents followed Tichgelaar from Oregon into Washington state to a hotel where he was arrested, records said.

During an interview with police, records said Tichgelaar told them he was the person exchanging messages with the undercover agent.

Tichgelaar said he had previously finished treatment for his sexual attraction to children, and that he knew what he spoke to the undercover agent about was illegal, according to court records. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer.

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