PORT ORCHARD — A South Kitsap Fire and Rescue lieutenant has been charged with a felony for allegedly sending sexually-charged texts to a 15-year-old girl.
Richard Dean Christenson, who started with the fire department in May 1990 according to his profile on LinkedIn.com, was charged Tuesday in Kitsap County Superior Court with communication with a minor for immoral purposes. He was booked into jail and released Wednesday morning, according to the jail’s roster.
Christenson, 49, is alleged to have sent sexual texts to the girl, describing acts and saying he wanted to take her clothes off. The girl also told investigators at Christenson’s request she sent him photos of herself in her underwear.
In the texts, Christenson calls the girl “sweetie” and the girl refers to Christenson as “snuggle buddy,” according to court documents.
South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Guy Dalrymple said Christenson has been placed on administrative leave and the district is conducting an internal investigation.
“We are looking into the allegations,” Dalrymple said.
Christenson did not answer a call to his cell phone Thursday and a message said his voicemail inbox was full.
The allegations were reported Monday to Kitsap County Sheriff’s investigators after the girl’s mother told a deputy she took her daughter’s cell phone because the teen was “acting oddly” and texting while at the dinner table.
During an interview, the teen told an investigator Christenson had touched her over her clothes on multiple occasions. The girl also said Christenson told her not to tell anybody “because he would get in trouble for it,” according to documents.