Brent Marty at his sentencing hearing at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Brent Marty at his sentencing hearing at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Abuse of trust’: Former firefighter sentenced for child molestation

Brent Marty, who worked for two Snohomish County fire districts, was sentenced to over three years in prison.

SNOHOMISH — A former Snohomish County firefighter was sentenced Wednesday to over three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

Until putting in his last shifts last July, Brent Marty, 40, worked for Snohomish County Fire Districts 4 and 5. He had worked at Fire District 4 in Snohomish since 2010.

In September, prosecutors charged Marty with first-degree child molestation. Last month, he pleaded guilty to second-degree child molestation and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

The plea was negotiated to avoid a prolonged court process that could further traumatize the victim, deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn said Wednesday in court.

On June 25, 2021, the Lake Stevens man molested the girl as the two inner tubed at Flowing Lake east of Snohomish, according to the charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The girl cried as she told her mother what happened. When she was interviewed at an Everett child advocacy center, she reportedly said she felt scared.

She reported he later apologized, saying “he shouldn’t have done that.”

Marty and the girl exchanged text messages, in which he asked if it felt good, according to court documents.

The girl’s mother saw the messages and confronted Marty. He reportedly said, “I’m sorry, but it’s not what you think.” The woman then called 911.

Marty later texted the mother about what happened.

“I don’t know what I could possibly say to you?” he told her in a message. “I am truly sorry.”

She responded that he was only sorry he got caught.

When police went to his house, they found a relative of Marty’s. He said Marty had just moved out. He added that Marty had said he was going to get rid of his phone and “go dark,” according to the charges.

The relative knew about the allegations against Marty. He told police Marty had acknowledged touching the girl at the park in June. The firefighter apparently said he felt a connection with the girl and didn’t think the 30-year age difference mattered.

Marty was arrested Sept. 2. His only prior criminal violation was a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge from 2002 in Wisconsin.

He declined to speak at Wednesday’s sentencing, only saying, “I’m just very sorry, your honor,” as he cried.

Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss sentenced him to three years and five months Wednesday, a term agreed to by both Marty’s defense attorney and prosecutors. That sentence is at the high end of state guidelines.

Weiss said: “This is an abuse of trust and abuse of power.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

For help

If you are concerned about the safety of a child, you can contact Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center at 425-789-3000, or call state Child Protective Services at the statewide End Harm line (866-363-4276). The Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse also operates a 24-hour crisis line: 425-252-4800.

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