Civil Air Patrol officer allegedly sex-trafficked babysitter

A report from the King County Sheriff’s Office says Mark Norton, 45, used Craigslist to find customers.

Mark Norton in an image from a 2012 Civil Air Patrol promotional video. (YouTube)

Mark Norton in an image from a 2012 Civil Air Patrol promotional video. (YouTube)

EVERETT — The former commanding officer of the Civil Air Patrol’s Paine Field squadron was arrested Tuesday for investigation of rape and sex trafficking of a young woman.

Mark Norton, now 45, has worked in security at King County Metro transit since 2010. He had just been promoted from superintendent of security to interim director of facilities Friday, but the offer was rescinded and he was placed on unpaid leave, according to a statement from the agency.

Norton and the woman met in 2007, according to a King County sheriff’s detective report filed in Snohomish County Superior Court. At the time he was married, in his 30s. She was a girl in the cadet squadron for kids age 12 to 18.

He started grooming her the next year, when she babysat his kids at his house in Stanwood, according to court papers. He coerced her into having sex with him and persuaded her to move into his basement, the records allege.

Norton’s wife discovered the relationship and divorced him in 2009, according to documents.

After the girl turned 18, Norton allegedly trafficked her for years on Craigslist and directed her to having sex with people in Everett, Lynnwood and Seattle. He also made her appear in three pornographic movies, detectives wrote.

Additionally, Norton had her marry his barber, who was staying in the United States on a student visa, so the man could get a green card, documents say.

The woman told detectives that all of the acts were against her will and that Norton collected the money. He physically threatened her during at least one conversation, a report says.

Detectives believe Norton used psychological coercion to convince the woman to participate in sex work. She got away from him in 2015.

Meanwhile, he was working as a security manager at King County Metro.

“We are shocked and deeply disturbed to learn of the allegations and are cooperating with investigators,” the agency said.

A court order allowed deputies to record recent conversations between Norton and the woman. On the recordings, Norton reportedly admitted to the trafficking and apologized several times.

Norton was arrested and booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday for investigation of first-degree sex trafficking and second-degree rape. A judge found probable cause on both counts and released him pending charges.

Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors also were involved in the case.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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