Kirkland man pleads not guilty to sexual exploitation charges

A Kirkland man pleaded not guilty to charges related to the sexual exploitation of two young boys from Colorado on Monday in King County Superior Court in Seattle.

Andrew M. Hartung, 34, is accused of luring multiple young boys through gaming sites and coaxing them to send sexually explicit photos of themselves, according to court documents.

He was living in an apartment complex in the 10000 block of NE 17th Court in the Juanita neighborhood before his arrest on April 18 by Kirkland police detectives.
He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of communications with a minor for immoral purposes and one count of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree.

Kirkland detectives believe Hartung communicated with a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, both in Colorado, for nearly two years. He is accused of trading gifts for nude photos with one of the boys. Hartung also discussed visiting the boys in Colorado this month before being arrested, the documents continued.

He used the alias “Andrew Jarratt” through texts, Skype and during online gaming sessions with the children. When the 13-year-old’s father questioned him about disturbing texts he found that Jarratt had sent, the boy stated that Jarratt was a 34-year-old gay man from Washington state. The father immediately called the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.
Hartung has a previous conviction 12 years ago in Pullman, Wash. for possessing child porn and never registered as a sex offender. If he had registered he would not have been allowed to live in the Juanita apartment complex, which detectives described as "brimming with children."
“Since that time, the defendant has groomed children across state lines via the Internet, enticing them with expensive gifts, electronics, money and cigarettes in exchange for photographs [of their privates],” prosecutors state in court documents.

Court documents also allude to the possibility of more victims across the country.

Hartung will be back in court on May 15 for a case setting hearing.


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