ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — A Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy is accused of rape involving a teenage girl he met online.
Anthony Zayas, 26, has been charged with third-degree rape and was placed on administrative leave in August, The Herald reported.
Charging papers say Zayas met the girl on Tinder, where she used a fake name and claimed to be 19. She was 14 and told police he gave her alcohol, charging papers said. The charges say he told investigators he took her word for it — after picking her up late at night at a park in Mount Vernon — that she was an adult.
In June, the girl’s mother reported to police in Idaho that the girl had run away. Later she was found in Spokane. One of the mother’s friends agreed to take her to the Mount Vernon area for awhile to stay. About two weeks later, the girl told her mom’s friend she had been sneaking out, according to the charges.
The friend went through the teen’s phone and found Snapchat photos of a man later identified as Zayas. The friend looked up Zayas on Facebook and saw evidence that he might be an officer. She reportedly contacted him and told him the girl’s real age.
“Oh my God,” Zayas replied, according to court papers. “What the (expletive)?”
Zayas was not in custody as of Tuesday. The rape charge was submitted Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court. Court records do not list an attorney for Zayas.
Zayas was hired by the county in July 2019. He remained on administrative leave as of this week while the sheriff’s office conducts its own internal review.