Detectives with the Bellevue Police Department arrested a 34-year-old Bellevue man for allegedly making a “sex date” with a 15-year-old minor, but the minor was actually an undercover vice detective.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office charged Hemant Kurmi with two criminal counts which include communication with a minor for immoral purposes and attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
A detective created an online social media account and stated Kurmi reportedly contacted him through this fake profile. The conversation quickly turned into a conversation about sex. The detective told the suspect they were 15 years old, in high school, and still lived with his parents. Despite that knowledge, investigators say Kurmi allegedly still made a date and showed up at the meeting location in Bellevue.
According to charging documents, the defendant offered to pay the detective posing as minor $30 for sexual contact and was found with that amount of money at the time of his arrest.
Detectives were waiting for the suspect and arrested him without incident. He was booked into jail on July 20, and prosecutors requested $75,000 bail. The judge set bail at $37,500. Kurmi posted bail and was released on July 25.
“This was a case of sugaring, which we are seeing a lot more recently,” said Police Capt. Shelby Shearer. “We often see juveniles and other vulnerable people engage in relationships in exchange for material goods and money. They’re looking for a sugar daddy.”
The danger arises when the victims don’t realize they are being groomed for sex or sex trafficking, Shearer added.
The department encourages parents to pay attention to any unusual gifts or expensive items that simply appear and to be involved and monitor their child’s social media contacts. They also recommend that parents talk with kids about the dangers of these kinds of grooming tactics.