Kennewick man, 70, sentenced for trying to rape kids

Kennewick man, 70, sentenced for trying to rape kids

A Kennewick man was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison Thursday for trying to have sex with young children. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Thomas Swarers, 70, was arrested in an online sex sting operation in the summer of 2017. He agreed to engage in sexual activity with 6 and 11-year-old girls while their mother watched. He also brought condoms, lubricant and sex toys to the home where he thought the girls’ mother lived.

During his trial, Swarers argued he had only intended to sleep with the mother – but the jury was not convinced. It took them less than an hour to find him guilty of two counts of attempted first-degree child rape.

“These types of crimes have devastating impacts on these children, their families, and others,” Judge Bruce Spanner said at his sentencing. “The video tape of you going into that apartment with the smile on your face was downright creepy. You’ll never convince me your intent was any different.”

Swarer’s trial was the first of 26 tied to a Net Nanny sex sting operation in July 2017.

He was arrested by a multi-agency task force made up by Kennewick Police, Richland Police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.