SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- Sunnyside police arrested a 37-year-old man accused of offering a 12-year-old girl $50 for sex.
Rene Cervantez Manjarrez was allegedly seen talking to the girl and her 13-year-old friend during recess at Sierra Vista Middle School on October 1.
The school's principal said she witnessed the interaction and notified police just after noon. She said when she questioned Manjarrez about why he was trespassing on school grounds, he refused to give his name. He told the principal he was only asking the girls if they knew where Chief Kamiakin Elementary was.
Authorities then interviewed both of the girls separately.
The 13-year-old witness described the man as "creepy" but denied knowing why she was meeting up with the alleged victim at school.
Police said the victim initially said Manjarrez was her cousin to avoid getting in trouble, later explaining that she met him at a birthday party. She said they exchanged numbers despite knowing each other's age.
She said Manjarrez knew she was a virgin before asking her to have sex, saying it would be a "one day thing," court documents say.
Text messages on the 12-year-old girl's phone show that she and Manjarrez discussed having sex, and that he offered to give her $50 if he couldn't "handle her."
Manjarrez was arrested on suspicion of communication with a minor for immoral purposes and criminal trespassing.
During an interview with police, the suspect admitted to sending the girl text messages, claiming they were "meant as a joke." After being shown surveillance footage from the school, he also admitted to being the man who trespassed on school property to speak with two girls.