Sex Assault at Tulalip Casino: Security Guard Avoids Prison Time

Posted on: August 10, 2023, 02:33h. 

Last updated on: August 10, 2023, 02:33h.

A former security guard at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State who has admitted committing a serious sexual assault on a female customer while on duty will likely avoid jail, according to a report from The Everrett Herald.

Tulalip Resort Casino, Travis Sanderson, Washington State
The Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State where the admitted assault took place. Ex-security guard Travis Sanderson pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation Wednesday. (Image: Indian Gaming Magazine)

Travis Sanderson, a former US Marine, was previously charged with felony second-degree rape in relation to the incident, which allegedly occurred on August 9, 2018, at the resort.

The Tulalip Resort Casino, located on the tribal reservation in Snohomish County about 35 miles north of Seattle, is owned by the Tulalip Tribes of Washington.

Suspended Sentence

Sanderson’s trial was initially delayed due to COVID and then procedural issues. In June, a nine-day trial on the rape charges resulted in a “hopelessly deadlocked” jury, as reported by The Herald.

Last Wednesday, Sanderson pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, a gross misdemeanor.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Karen Moore handed him a suspended jail sentence of one year. This means he will be on probation for the next 24 months but will not serve jail time unless he reoffends.

Surveillance Footage

On the night of the admitted assault, Sanderson informed his colleagues that he would accompany an intoxicated woman back to her hotel room at the casino. According to court documents, the victim had been drinking with co-workers and was visibly unable to walk.

Approximately eight minutes later, he returned to the casino after being in her room, as captured by a security camera in the hallway.

Four minutes later, the camera showed the victim leaving the room wearing different clothes. Distraught, she made her way to the lobby and reported that Sanderson had assaulted her.

When the police arrived, the security guard denied assaulting the woman. He told the officers that he had spent between three and five minutes in the room because she had asked him to set her alarm clock. He claimed to have turned around and witnessed her undressing before leaving the room.

Story Changed

However, he changed his statement after the victim underwent a sexual assault examination, admitting that sexual contact had occurred but asserting it was consensual.

In December 2018, prosecutors initially charged Sanderson with a felony charge of indecent liberties with a person who was unable to give consent. This was later amended to the rape charge.

Judge Moore described the ruling on Wednesday as an “appropriate resolution to put this very old case to rest.”

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