Investigators ask about earlier reports of abuse
MONROE - Investigators are looking into whether early reports of abuse were properly handled in the sexual exploitation case against a former Monroe police officer.
Former Sgt. Carlos Martinez, 58, was charged June 26 with child molestation, sexual exploitation of a minor and voyeurism in Snohomish County Superior Court. Martinez is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student in the Monroe School District over a 10-year period. The abuse allegedly began in 2003. The girl is now 24.
The Washington State Patrol, which is handling the investigation, was in contact with the Monroe School District prior to filing official charges against Martinez. Lead investigator Lt. Ron Mead said representatives from the district maintained that “they did everything they felt they were obligated to do.”
A district spokesperson was unavailable for comment last week.
According to other news reports, the victim reported the abuse to a school counselor. The counselor then contacted Child Protective Services with the state Department of Social and Health Services. It is unclear why authorities there didn’t follow up on the information.
The Monroe branch of the Children’s Administration of the state Department of Social and Health Services had “no comment” last week.
“Nothing has been proven and the allegations remain all open-ended,” Mead said. “But if it’s true (that the reports went unnoticed), they’re certainly serious allegations that need to be looked into further.”
Individuals in certain jobs are required by law to report certain allegations, Mead said. Failure to do that, he said, may result in a criminal charge.
Monroe Police Chief Tim Quenzer told the Herald that no one from children services contacted him about the abuse allegations.
Martinez worked at the Monroe Police Department for 20 years and left the department in 2009 amid unrelated investigations alleging he was abusing his now ex-wife.
Quenzer said he never suspected Martinez was involved with sexual misconduct of a minor during his time at the department.
When Martinez resigned from the department, Quenzer said he continued a career in the military and moved to Texas. It was in San Antonio where an FBI task force, acting on suspicion of possession of child pornography, arrested Martinez and alerted the Washington State Patrol.
The State Patrol began its investigation in March 2012.
Martinez was a long-standing friend of the family of the girl who was abused, Mead said.
Martinez was also a member of the Monroe School Board and served as a Drug Abuse Resistance Officer (DARE) in Monroe elementary and middle schools.
“He was a very personable type of guy and obviously used that to his advantage,” Quenzer said of the time he worked with Martinez.
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