Tulalip casino security guard charged with on-duty sex crime

The guard, 28, who served in the Marines, is accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman.

TULALIP — A security guard at Tulalip Resort Casino pleaded not guilty this week to sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman in her hotel room while he was on duty.

The woman, in her 30s, was drinking with coworkers on the night of Aug. 9, when her level of impairment became clear to security and a Tulalip police officer, who happened to be responding to a call.

Security officer Travis Sanderson, a supervisor, told another guard he’d escort the woman back to her hotel room, charging papers say. She was unsteady on her feet, so he walked with her arm-in-arm.

He used her key to open the door and went inside with her. Afterward he exited, spoke into his radio and took the elevator to the lobby.

Four minutes later, the woman exited the room in different clothes. She unsteadily made her way downstairs, distraught, saying the guard took advantage of her. At least three Tulalip police officers responded.

Sanderson, 28, told tribal police he’d been in the room for three to five minutes, and nothing sexual happened. He claimed the woman asked him to set her alarm clock for her, because she couldn’t. He reportedly said he turned around, saw the woman undressing and left the room.

A detective interviewed the woman days later. Some memories of the night were hazy, but she had no doubt she’d been sexually assaulted.

Police reviewed hotel key logs and security footage showing Sanderson was in the room with the woman for eight minutes.

In an interview at the police department, a detective confronted him about the disparity in the timeline, and informed Sanderson that the woman underwent a sexual assault exam. The exam can detect DNA.

Sanderson then admitted to the sexual contact, charging papers say. He claimed it was consensual.

Snohomish County prosecutors charged him with indecent liberties of a person who was incapable of consent. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday.

Sanderson’s attorney did not immediately respond to a voicemail Friday, and a tribal spokeswoman had no comment. The status of Sanderson’s employment was not clear.

Tribal police are separate from the casino’s security guards.

Charging papers allege Sanderson abused a position of authority. The judge ordered that while the case is ongoing, Sanderson can’t hold a security or police job, or any role where he’s a supervisor. He was released pending his next court hearing.

Sanderson, a speedy athlete in football and track at Marysville Pilchuck High School, signed up with the Marines around the time he graduated. Military records show he served from 2009 to 2013.

On social media, he wrote he’d been stationed at a military base on Oahu and taught jungle warfare classes on Okinawa.

After serving, he added, he hoped to become a state trooper.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Craig Hess (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
Sultan’s new police chief has 22 years in law enforcement

Craig Hess was sworn in Sep. 14. The Long Island-born cop was a first-responder on 9/11. He also served as Gold Bar police chief.

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Woman killed in crash on Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers speaks to the crowd during an opening ceremony at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County executive pitches $1.66B budget

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced his proposed budget Tuesday afternoon. Public comment is slated to begin Oct. 10.