Detectives arrested a 34-year-old Bellevue man for making a sex date with a 15-year-old boy, but the boy was actually an undercover vice detective. The King County Prosecutor’s Office charged Hemant Kurmi with two counts, Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes and Attempted Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
A detective created an online social media account and says Kurmi contacted him through this fake profile. The conversation quickly turned into a conversation about sex. The detective told the suspect he was 15 years old, in high school and still lived with his parents. Despite that knowledge, investigators say Kurmi still made a date and showed up at the meeting location in Bellevue.
Detectives were waiting for the suspect and arrested him without incident. He was booked into jail on July 20, 2022, and prosecutors requested $75,000 bail. The judge set bail at $37,5000, and Kurmi posted bail and was released on July 25, 2022.
“This was a case of sugaring, which we are seeing a lot more recently,” said Captain 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.
Parents are encouraged 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. It’s also a good idea to talk with kids about the dangers of these kinds of grooming tactics.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human sex or labor trafficking, you are encouraged to contact Bellevue police at ViceHT@bellevuewa.gov. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
Case # 22-39184