Glen Winans, an Army soldier stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, began chatting with the victim while he was deployed in Afghanistan, according to Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist. The two had multiple conversations during which the victim told Winans she was 15, prosecutors said.
Last month, the two met for the first time when Winans drove to the girl's home in Kelso, took her to see a movie, then had sex that night, Lindquist said.
Prosecutors said the two met again Friday when Winans brought the victim to his Lakewood home and they had sex again.
The two were eating at a Lakewood cafe Saturday morning when waitress Kelly Attinello overheard Winans tell the victim he liked young girls, investigators said. Attinello then called police.
"I served the food and he was holding her hand all romantically. I thought, no something is not right. It's not right," Attinellos said.
Attinellos said she's seen Winans in the restaurant before, and she said he'd even talked to her about dating younger women.
"I'm just like what could you possibly have in common with a 19 year old?" she said. "You're 47-years old, what could you possibly have in common? But there was nothing I could do about that."
The victim admitted to officers that the two had sex, and Winans was subsequently arrested at the caf, Lindquist said. The girl's age has since been verified to be 13.
Prosecutors say Winans denied having a sexual relationship with the victim, but told detectives that he did not like women in their 30s and 40s because they are typically out of shape and overweight.
"It's not unusual for soldiers to meet women on-line. It is unusual for a 47-year old soldier man to meet a 13-year old girl on line," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
Winans is now being held on $100,000 bail