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Jan. 28, 2022

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Jury acquits ex-Snohomish county deputy of child rape

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EVERETT  — A jury has acquitted an ex-Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy who was charged with third-degree rape of a child.

Anthony Zayas, 27, cried and hugged his defense attorney as he heard the verdict read Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court, the Daily Herald reported.

Zayas was employed as a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy from 2019 to 2021.

On June 20, 2020, charging papers say he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl he met through the dating application Tinder. The girl used a fake name on her dating profile and wrote that she was 19, documents said. She told police he gave her alcohol after picking her up in a park in Mount Vernon, documents said.

He testified that he believed the girl was over 18.

Deputy prosecutor Jarett Goodkin argued that under the law, Zayas had a responsibility to verify the girl’s age.

“Isn’t really what this law is about — is to protect children just like her,” he asked.

Twelve jurors — seven women and five men — deliberated for about five hours before returning a not-guilty verdict.

The deputy prosecutor declined to comment. Zayas no longer works in law enforcement.

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