Jose Cruz Churape-Martinez, 26, of Friday Harbor, is charged with rape of a child sometime between Nov. 1 through 30 of 2014. His arraignment is set for March 17.
On Dec. 28, 2016, a minor and her parents came to the sheriff’s office with a complaint that a 2015 rape case had not been sent to the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office. Sheriff Ron Krebs asked a deputy to investigate the case. The deputy found three recorded interviews; two from the victim, and one from the alleged suspect.
According to the San Juan County Prosecutor’s office, the former SJC Detective Stephen Parker initially investigated this case and it remains unclear whether it was reported to the prosecutor’s office.
Parker is no longer working as a detective. An independent investigation into Parker, earlier this year, alleged that he had sex with a crime victim (not related to the case below), showed disrespectful conduct toward her, used aliases to hide communication with her and shared details of other cases.
Teresa Zueger, senior criminal deputy prosecuting attorney who came to San Juan in 2016, said there was a note from Parker that said he had discussed the case with a prosecutor, but the prosecutor’s office could not find any files regarding the case.
“We keep paperwork even on cases we decline,” said Zuegar, who questioned why there were no case files to be found.
When the case was reinvestigated by the sheriff’s office, Zuegar said they decided to press charges mainly based on the ages of the victim, 15, and the accused, 22.
The victim was interviewed by Parker on Dec. 2 and Dec. 30, 2015. The following was recorded in those interviews:
The victim went to Martinez’s residence in November of 2014. She was offered a beer by Martinez and, although she consumed beer prior to then, she fell asleep after drinking a small amount. When she awoke, she recalled, the rape occurred. She stated that she was groggy and had trouble moving.
In the recorded interview with Martinez in 2016, he admitted to having consensual sex with the victim.
On Jan. 4, 2017, the deputy interviewed a friend of the victim who said that the first time she went to Martinez’s residence with the victim, she passed out on the floor. The friend said the victim claimed Martinez tried to talk her into having sex with her.
The second time they went to the residence, the friend again fell sleep. She claimed that a few days later the victim admitted to having consensual sexual relations with Martinez that night.
On Jan. 19, 2017, the deputy received a report that Martinez was harassing the victim’s family. Martinez, who is now living in Bellingham, denied the harassment allegations. He was again asked about the sexual relationship with the minor and he admitted to having consensual sex.
At the time of the incident, the victim was 15 and he was 22.
Rape of a child in the third degree occurs when sexual intercourse happens between a person at least 48 months older than a minor who is at least 14 years of age but less than 16 years of age and is not married or in a domestic partnership with the accused.