SNOHOMISH — Six years ago, Brent Marty was his department’s co-firefighter of the year. Now he’s been charged with first-degree child molestation.
Marty, a firefighter with Snohomish County fire districts 4 and 5, is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl as the two inner tubed at Flowing Lake in Snohomish on June 25, according to charges filed earlier this month in Snohomish County Superior Court.
The girl said he touched her while they were in the water, according to court documents. She cried when she told her mom what happened. When she was interviewed at an Everett child advocacy center, she said she felt scared.
After the alleged abuse, the girl said Marty apologized, saying “he shouldn’t have done that,” according to the charging papers.
Marty, 40, and the girl exchanged a series of messages shedding light on the episode for detectives. He reportedly described how he touched her, and asked her if it felt good.
After seeing the messages, the girl’s mother confronted Marty. She recorded the conversation, much of which consists of the woman yelling at him about the allegations. He said, “I’m sorry, but it’s not what you think,” according to court documents. The woman then called police.
Marty later texted the girl’s mother about what happened, according to court papers.
“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.
“Nope, I crossed a line that day and I’ve felt guilty (ever) since,” he said, according to court papers.
He reportedly added he was “very sorry.” She said: “Not as sorry as I am.”
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. He has no previous felony convictions. His only criminal violation is a misdemeanor marijuana charge from 2002 in Wisconsin.
Marty worked part-time at Fire District 4 in Snohomish from January 2010 through Sept. 12, chief Don Waller said in an email. He was placed on administrative leave on July 6.
He was the department’s co-firefighter of the year in 2015.
He also started taking shifts at Fire District 5 in Sultan this past June, chief Merlin Halverson wrote in an email. He had favorable comments from his reference. Marty’s last shift was July 1. He was fired two months later, on the day he was arrested.
Marty was in the Snohomish County Jail on Monday with $25,000 bail.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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.