Investigators look to see if signs of abuse were ignored

MONROE — Investigators are trying to determine whether warning signs were ignored years ago when a former Monroe police sergeant allegedly used his role as a DARE officer to ensnare a young woman into a sexual relationship that began when she was 14.

Former Monroe police Sgt. Carlos Martinez, 58, was charged Wednesday in a Snohomish County District Court with voyeurism, child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor for incidents that allegedly began in 2003.

The abuse allegedly took place over nearly 10 years after Martinez met the girl at her school. It reportedly continued in Texas, where she shared a home with him for a time, according to court papers.

Detectives with the Washington State Patrol began investigating Martinez in March 2012 after he was arrested, but never charged, when suspected child pornography involving the same girl was found in his Texas home. She’s now 24.

A report prepared by State Patrol detectives, and relied upon by Snohomish County prosecutors to file charges, says that early on, the girl twice told a Monroe school counselor what was happening. The counselor reportedly went to a state Child Protective Services employee, but that worker “was allegedly in a romantic relationship” with Martinez, according to the patrol’s report.

Some familiar with the case privately say there are reasons to doubt whether adults were specifically told about abuse.

The social worker quit the agency about four years ago, said Mindy Chambers, a spokeswoman for the Children’s Administration within the state Department of Social and Health Services.

CPS officials have spoken with detectives, Chambers said. No internal review is planned.

Chambers said she could not comment further about CPS’s involvement with the girl because of confidentiality.

The Monroe School District no longer has records from when the student reportedly met with a counselor, school officials said.

“We take our responsibility about keeping students safe very seriously,” district spokeswoman Rosemary O’Neil said. “I believe that the school staff involved took whatever was told to them seriously and followed state law and school policy in reporting it.”

Martinez left the Monroe Police Department in 2009 in connection with an unrelated domestic violence investigation, Police Chief Tim Quenzer said.

“Child Protective Services did not notify the police department of any inappropriate activity with the victim and Martinez,” the chief said Thursday.

The department should have been notified after the girl talked with the counselor, he said.

Detectives have found no indication that Monroe police ignored any report or overt indication of sexual misconduct in the case, patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said.

Quenzer, who has been chief since 2002, said he first learned of the allegations when the State Patrol began investigating last year.

Eric Stevick contributed to this story.

Rikki King, 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Big fire destroys building on Broadway in Everett

A person was rescued, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

A place to live: Clearing a barrier for former sex workers

A nonprofit’s house “will be a safe place” for former prostitutes and sex-trafficking victims.

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Most Read