By Jeremy Pawloski / The Olympian
A 19-year-old former lifeguard at Great Wolf Lodge pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree child rape for a sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl whom he met while she was staying at the indoor water park and resort with family last year.
As part of a plea deal, a prosecutor agreed to dismiss a charge of second-degree child rape against Alex Salazar in exchange for his guilty plea to the charge of third-degree child rape.
The rape occurred in May, 2013, after Salazar and the girl left the hotel located in the 20000 block of Old Highway 99 in Grand Mound, and went to an unknown location in Salazar’s car, court papers state.
At the time, the 14-year-old girl was staying at the hotel at Great Wolf Lodge on a family vacation. The girl and her family are from Oregon.
According to Salazar’s guilty plea statement for third-degree child rape, Salazar has admitted to having sex with a person more than four years younger than him.
The victim in the case told Thurston County sheriff’s detectives that she did not give consent, court papers state. Salazar on the other hand, denied this in court records, stating that “he stopped when she said to stop.”
Court records state that Great Wolf Lodge fired Salazar from his job as a lifeguard there after the allegations came to light.
Salazar had no prior criminal record at the time of his arrest last year.
As part of Salazar’s plea deal, prosecutors and Salazar’s defense attorney have agreed to recommend that he serve between one year and 14 months in prison at sentencing.
Salazar would have potentially faces a much longer prison sentence had he been convicted of second-degree rape.
Salazar’s sentencing is tentatively scheduled to occur in March in Thurston County Superior Court.