By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — In the months since Carlos Martinez became the subject of a Washington State Patrol investigation alleging he groomed an underage girl for a sexual relationship and secretly videotaped their encounters, the former Monroe police sergeant reportedly has lied to government officials to get information about the young woman.
Last month, the state suspended Martinez’s license to practice as a private investigator after allegations surfaced that he attempted “to locate and harass a witness so as to discourage the witness from providing evidence in a legal action,” according to court papers.
Martinez is targeting the young woman he also is accused of molesting, starting a decade ago, according to prosecutors.
They allege that since April, Martinez has attempted to get information from the National Park Service about the woman’s whereabouts and her relationships with instructors.
Now 24, she is pursuing a career as a park ranger. Martinez reportedly told the officials with the Park Service that she was having an affair with one of her instructors. His allegations caused the Park Service to launch an internal investigation centered on her, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul wrote in charging papers filed in Superior Court.
The deputy prosecutor Friday charged Martinez, 58, with numerous sex crimes, including child rape, molestation and voyeurism related to allegations nearly a decade old.
Martinez is accused of instigating a sexual relationship in 2003, when the girl was 14.
He was the drug education officer for the girl’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes in Monroe. Prosecutors allege that he groomed the girl, taking advantage of her sheltered upbringing and lack of friends outside of her church. The girl’s parents trusted Martinez and allowed their daughter to babysit for his family, Paul wrote in a nine-page affidavit.
Martinez allegedly showered the shy girl with attention and later engaged in sex with her at his home while his wife was out of town. She told investigators the pair would sometimes have sex while Martinez was on duty. He also reportedly rented motel rooms for them when the girl lived in eastern Washington.
Martinez left the police department in 2009 because he was about to be fired after being accused of assaulting his former wife. That same year, Martinez separated from his wife and he moved to Texas with the girl he’d been molesting for six years, prosecutors allege.
She went to police in Texas in 2011.
The Washington State Patrol began investigating Martinez in March 2012 after it was contacted by an FBI task force based in San Antonio, Texas. Martinez had been arrested there on suspicion of possessing child pornography involving the same girl, but charges were never filed.
State Patrol detectives interviewed Martinez in October. He insisted he didn’t have sex with the girl until she was 18.
Police Chief Tim Quenzer has said the department was unaware of the allegations involving the girl until the State Patrol investigation began last year.
There is evidence that the girl tried to tell school officials and a state social worker about the abuse. At 15, the girl told a school counselor that Martinez’s wife had accused her of having an affair. The girl told the counselor that the police officer had been calling her. The counselor told the girl that was inappropriate. The counselor reported that she intended to follow up with the girl and her mother, but the family moved out of the district.
The counselor shared her concerns with a state social worker. The CPS worker allegedly was in a romantic relationship with Martinez, according to State Patrol reports.
Martinez is expected to be arraigned on the felony charges next month.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.