Crime

Former California officer charged with Gig Harbor child sex crimes

A convicted sex offender who once was a California Highway Patrol officer is accused of abusing a young relative in Gig Harbor more than 15 years ago.

Pierce County prosecutors charged 36-year-old Jacob M. Duenas on Tuesday with four counts of first-degree child rape, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

The alleged abuse happened in 2000, when the victim was 8 or 9, and he and Duenas were staying at a family member’s home, according to charging papers.

Court records say detectives from Chico, California, spoke with the victim in 2015, as part of an investigation into separate molestation allegations against Duenas.

He allegedly told them Duenas had been living at the Pierce County home while he was “finishing up police school.”

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission has no record of Duenas in its system, which means he has never worked as an active law enforcement officer in the state, commission spokeswoman Marisa O’Neill said Wednesday.

O’Neill said the commission does not have such records for reserve officers, who work on a volunteer basis and train with their specific agencies, as opposed to the state’s academy.

It’s not clear if or where Duenas did such training.

The Chico Enterprise-Record reported that Duenas worked as a California Highway Patrol officer in Monterey County, where he was convicted of misdemeanor child molestation in 2008.

In February, he was sentenced to 180 days in jail and five years probation for a felony child molestation charge in Butte County, the paper reported.

His attorney at the time said he had pre-enrolled in a sex offender treatment program, according to the article.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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