A 40-year-old Hartford juvenile detention officer is accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenage girl at the facility and has been charged with second-degree sexual assault.
State police started investigating on Aug. 17 when they were notified about an inappropriate sexual relationship between a 40-year-old juvenile detention officer and a 17-year-old girl at the juvenile detention center on Broad Street in Hartford.
The girl’s mother had gone to Windsor Locks police the day before and said her 17-year-old daughter revealed to her younger sisters that she was having a sexual relationship with a detention officer, according to court records.
The investigation led to police looking at Instagram accounts belonging to the teen and the detention officer, 40-year old Marquis Marquez, of New Britain, which included messages about avoiding cameras.
One of the teen’s friends told investigators that she met with the 17-year-old during a furlough from the facility and the victim told her she was dating a 40-year-old man who was nice and has two children, according to court records.
The victim told one of her siblings that Marquez was her boyfriend and she told another sibling that he wanted to “share a life with her,” according to the court records.
Marquez’s co-workers reported that he would spend many hours with the teen and a supervisor had approached him in September as he was sitting in a chair at the threshold of the victim’s room and said he was not visible to video surveillance.
In October, police interviewed the teen and she told them her relationship with Marquez was “close” and he was “like a big brother” to her, but denied any inappropriate physical contact.
The teen eventually admitted to sending nude pictures of herself to Marquez, at his request, and said he exposed himself in photos he sent her, according to court records. She went on to defended Marquez and told police she did “not want him to get in trouble.”
Marquez initially told investigators he believed he was being targeted in a conspiracy by juvenile detention center management to investigate him and later charge him with discipline, court records say.
He described the teen as “troubled” and at first, he denied communicating with her teen outside the facility. Then police asked about the Instagram account and Marquez admitted to the communication on social media being sexual in nature, but he said he never touched the girl.
He did, however, admit to sending nude pictures of himself to the teen and asking for nude photos as well, the arrest warrant application says.
Ultimately, Marquez admitted that the teen performed oral sex on him and said she initiated it, the arrest warrant application says.
When asked what he would say to the teen if given the opportunity, Marquez said he would apologize.
“Let her know I was definitely wrong, that I had, I guess, a moment, so forth and so on, but I would apologize to her and I would hope that she would forgive me for being what I was. For being like that, for taking advantage. I really would,” he told investigators.