King County Metro employee accused of grooming and pimping his underage babysitter

A long time King County metro employee is accused of grooming and pimping his underage babysitter for years.

The King County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mark Norton, 45, of Stanwood, on Tuesday and booked him in the Snohomish County Jail on rape and trafficking charges.

According to the King County Sheriff's Office, the victim was just 16 when the crimes started, and the crimes went on from 2008-2013.

“During that time the suspect began grooming the victim to become a prostitute for him. So he worked as a pimp and through different online sites and portals had the victim engage in prostitution, “ said Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office.

According to court documents, Norton was a Major in the Civil Air Patrol when he met the alleged victim as a CAP cadet. Officials said she started babysitting Norton's two children at his Stanwood home when the rape started. She eventually moved into the basement. His first wife, the mother of his kids, discovered what was happening and divorced Norton.

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According to the documents, Norton forced the alleged victim to appear in pornographic movies and even forced her to marry his barber for a green card.

Because the alleged crimes happened years ago, detectives have a lot of evidence to go through, which will take time.

In Snohomish County Court, where Norton appeared on video, the prosecutor said for that reason he can’t, in good faith, argue for Norton to be held under bail so he requested Norton be released on his own personal recognizance.

Norton had been employed with Metro since 2010.  He had been head of security and was just promoted to interim Director of Facilities on Friday.

King County Metro sent this statement: “We are shocked and deeply disturbed to learn of the allegations and are cooperating with investigators. While in custody, this employee will be on unpaid leave, and we are exploring avenues to take immediate steps regarding this employee’s ongoing employment. Meanwhile, we are conducting our own administrative investigation to determine if any additional or unrelated code of conduct violations may have occurred.”

The King County Sheriff's Office got a court order authorizing a recording of conversations between Norton and the alleged victim. During the conversations, court documents show he admitted to pimping her out and apologized to her several times.

Under the terms of his release, Norton can't contact the alleged victim, or have contact with minor children, including his own two children.

Norton's family was also in court but did not want to comment.