Thurston County lifeguard accused of raping teenage girl

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A 19-year-old lifeguard was arrested Tuesday for allegedly raping a 14-year-old Oregon girl.

Detectives with the Thurston County sheriff's office say Alex Eduardo Salazar of Centralia was working as a lifeguard at the Great Wolf Lodge on Monday when he met the alleged victim, who was staying at the lodge with her family.

Salazar befriended the girl, and when his shift was over she agreed to go for a car ride with him, according to investigators. The girl sneaked out of her room at about midnight and voluntarily left with Salazar, but deputies say that's when things changed.

"She voluntarily went with him, they befriended each other, but once they got on the roadside he kind of took over and it became a forcible situation," said Lt. Greg Elwin with the Thurston County sheriff's office.

Deputies say Salazar drove the girl back to the lodge, where she immediately told her parents about the incident.

Salazar was arrested Wednesday morning at Rochester High School, where he's a senior.

He's being held in Thurston County jail on suspicion of third degree child rape. His bail was set at $20,000.

Salazar's father, Jamie Salazar, said he was shocked to learn of the arrest.

"He's never had any problems. He's got a job, he's good in school. He plays basketball and he's doing good. This is a shock to me. It's terrible," he said.

A spokesperson for the lodge said safety is their top priority and they are working closely with investigators on the case.