Navy Officer Arrested for Alleged Rape of Teenager He Met on Dating App

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A lieutenant commander with the Navy's Fleet Readiness Center Northwest in Washington state was arrested Wednesday for allegedly raping a teenager he paid for sex after meeting on an online dating app, according to an affidavit obtained by

Lt. Cmdr. Lucas Jose Martinez, 61, was arrested March 13 for the alleged third-degree rape of a child, commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes, the affidavit says.

Local police requested the victim's age be left unspecified to protect their identity, but a third-degree rape charge in the state of Washington applies specifically to sexual intercourse performed on a child between the ages of 14 and 16.

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According to the court document, Martinez and the boy met on a dating app called Sniffies, specifically for non-straight men. The teenager's profile stated that he was 18 and did not include a picture of his face, the affidavit said. It included only a photo of the lower half of his body and a bio saying he was interested in money.

It is unclear exactly when the pair first met in person, according to the document, but messages between Martinez and the teen show they initially matched online in November. In his first message to the teenager, Martinez reportedly said, "Hi there, would you be interested in meeting up with a very interested daddy?"

Police believe the pair met in person Dec. 12. After texts were sent suggesting they meet that day, Martinez allegedly texted the boy that night, saying, "It was amazing, baby. Hopefully you can meet up again next week again or later this week [red heart emoji]." The teen's school district confirmed to police he had been absent from school earlier that day.

In a forensic child interview, the boy told the interviewer that he was there because he "had sex with an older guy." According to the description of the event detailed in the affidavit, the boy "was home from school and the male, a 'navy guy,' said he'd give [the boy] money in exchange for sex. He came over, they had sex, the man gave [the boy] money and then left."

According to the affidavit, Martinez allegedly paid the teenager $200 for the encounter, for which Martinez arrived wearing his green digital working uniform. During the visit, police said it "was possible" the boy told Martinez he lived with his mother.

After the encounter, the victim began to ignore and block Martinez's calls and texts. Martinez then allegedly used different accounts and phones to contact the teen, including a phone number belonging to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, leaving voicemails in which he asked to be unblocked. The most recent voicemail was left Feb. 8, the affidavit revealed. The document also noted the phone's service provider listed the number as belonging to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the old name of NAVWARSYSCOM, changed in 2019.

In his final messages to the victim, Martinez allegedly said he was planning to pay the boy $1,000 a month to keep seeing him. Throughout their contact, Martinez had sent the child multiple pictures of himself in uniform and told him that he worked "in aviation," after being asked whether he was a pilot, according to the affidavit.

Police were first alerted to a possible crime Jan. 22, after the victim's mother found a package with sex toys and costumes, which the boy said came from men sending him items from his "Amazon wishlist."

No crime had been established at that point, the affidavit said, as the teeanger said he had been communicating with men only for gifts.

On Feb. 9, the victim's mother contacted police again and said her son had admitted that a man, identified as "Lucas Martinezmendieta," had paid him $200 for oral and anal sex while she had been at work. After reviewing messages between the pair and interviewing the child, Martinez was arrested by police at his home in Oak Harbor, Washington, located less than 20 minutes away from Navy Fleet Readiness Center Northwest.

After being read his Miranda rights and told he should keep quiet until he spoke to an attorney, the affidavit revealed Martinez allegedly told police, "I never slept with a minor, let alone rape."

Law enforcement has been unable to confirm whether the child had met with other adults sexually, according to the court document, but Martinez is the only man the teen reported.

A spokesperson for Naval Air Systems Command, Marcia Hart, told in an email that Martinez remains assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Northwest in Washington, despite the affidavit noting he was planning on leaving the state the same day he was arrested.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service told police that Martinez owns a home in Maryland and was set to complete permanent change-of-duty station orders, according to the affidavit.

While this made Martinez a flight risk, the document said, he has since been released on bail, according to the Skagit County Jail database.

When asked for further comment, Hart said the Navy would be deferring next moves to local authorities. "The local authorities have jurisdiction, and we do not comment on ongoing investigations," she said. "But we are providing support as required."

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