MLT man pleads guilty to sending women anonymous, threatening text messages

A 22-year-old Mountlake Terrace man has pleaded guilty to stalking and sexually harassing multiple young women by sending them anonymous text messages.

On Nov. 19, Ray Boughner Jr. III pleaded guilty in the Snohomish County Superior Court to three counts of cyberstalking and two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes after sending anonymous messages threatening to rape multiple young women. According to a signed statement, Boughner admitted to repeatedly sending anonymous texts “using lewd, lascivious, indecent and obscene words” to threaten the young women and their families.

According to court documents, the harassment began as early as 2013 when several Mountlake Terrace High School students began to receive text messages demanding sex in exchange for money. Over time, the texts became increasingly violent with threats of rape and kidnapping. On more than one occasion, he threatened to kill his targets. Most of the young women attended Mountlake Terrace High School and were classmates of Boughner.

To contact the individuals, Boughner used textPlus — a free phone application that allows users to make texts and calls to any U.S. or Canadian phone number. With the app, users only need a WiFi-enabled device and do not require a phone service provider. The app also gives users the chance to choose their own phone number and change it as many times as they want.

In October 2018, one of Boughner’s targets — a 21-year-old woman — filed a report with the Lynnwood Police Department stating that she had received the messages every few months since she was 16 years old. She said the messages would begin with the individual texting her from an unfamiliar number pretending to be someone she knows. After realizing it was an imposter, she said the sender would then proposition her for sex in exchange for money before escalating to threats of having her raped, kidnapped or harming her family.

After further investigation, Lynnwood Police Detective Bill Koonce spoke with 10 other women who shared similar stories. In some instances, they said Boughner would try to intimidate them by using their full first and last name or sending their home address. Multiple women also said they received calls from unfamiliar numbers where they would only hear someone on the other line breathing.

Eventually, Koonce spoke with Mountlake Terrace High School administrators and learned that Boughner was expelled in 2013 after he was reported to have sent a female teacher sexually inappropriate emails.

After reaching out to textPlus with four of the numbers Boughner used, Koonce learned that the phone associated with the account was a Samsung Galaxy S9+. Koonce then checked for phone numbers associated with Boughner and found one that was managed by T-Mobile, who confirmed Boughner used textPlus and had a Galaxy S9+ phone. Though T-Mobile was unable to track texts and calls made through the app, textPlus was able to confirm that the account associated with Boughner’s phone was used to send threatening and harassing texts.

One woman said she was contacted by Boughner on Facebook after she cancelled plans to meet him in person. At the time, she said she did not know Boughner was the person who had been sending the texts. With enough evidence for probable cause, Koonce arrested Boughner in January 2019.

During his confession, Boughner admitted to using textPlus to send the messages. He also admitted to contacting two minors with the same threats, one of whom was the younger sister of his other targets. After his arrest, two more young women came forward and said they had been contacted by Boughner.

Boughner was booked into Snohomish County Jail on Jan. 25 on a $100,000 bond. Prosecutors are recommending that Boughner be sentenced to nine months in custody, three years of parole, have no contact with minors and complete a sexual deviancy evaluation.

Boughner is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19.

–Story by Cody Sexton

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