A Blaine man has been arrested and charged with communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and two counts of soliciting to rape a child in the second degree.
Robert Forrest Fout, 27, was arrested on January 18 by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department after allegedly messaging a preteen girl on Facebook and asking her to meet and have sex in exchange for drugs.
Sumas authorities became involved after the girl left her Facebook account logged in and her mother found messages from “Robby Lawler” in the preteen’s inbox.
According to charging documents, the mother took screenshots of the conversation, which included repeated requests to meet with the girl and included a photo of a shirtless man in his twenties.
The sheriff’s department joined the investigation when it was discovered there were victims who lived outside of the city limits.
According to the sheriff’s department, Fout has admitted to the illicit interactions with the underage girls, and prosecutors now believe he may have propositioned up to 30 girls for sex acts.
“At this point, we’ve charged him with one count, but we believe there were multiple victims involved,” Sheriff Bill Elfo said. More charges have been filed by the Sumas Police in connection with this case.
Fout allegedly trolled for the preteen girls online and then flirted with and propositioned them.
Court records say that Fout offered marijuana in exchange for sex, and asked to pick the girls up after school.
Elfo said that Fout used the name “Robby Lawler” as an alias when contacting the girls and sought them out using the popular online networking site. “He would make comments about their physical appearance on Facebook,” Elfo said. In some cases he posed as a friend of the girls.
Deputies obtained a warrant and seized Fout’s computer and cell phone as part of the investigation after phone calls and texts to an Everson-area girl were traced back to him.
“It doesn’t appear that they ever met, but parents need to be more vigilant in watching what their kids are doing on Facebook,” Elfo said. “You never know who you might be communicating with.”
It is reported that the original victim told Fout she was 13 during the interactions.
A trial date for Fout has been set for April 8.