YAKIMA, Wash. -- Prosecutors filed formal charges Wednesday against a Yakima man accused of child rape. Travis Padgett is also charged with giving methamphetamine to a minor.
Details of the allegations against Padgett are disturbing. Action News learned Padgett has a long history of run-ins with the law but, so far, has managed to avoid serious jail time.
It was an unexpected revelation to a Student Resource Officer that sparked this startling investigation.
"It's very, very disturbing and very disheartening for anybody," said Capt. Rod Light, Yakima police spokesperson.
Police said Padgett started a sexual relationship with someone he knew well and that he took advantage of being in a position of trust.
According to court documents, Padgett was giving the child meth and having sex with the child repeatedly. Padgett allegedly made the child have sex with an older woman as well.
Investigators said the two had sex nearly 50 times since last summer.
"To play devil's advocate, when YPD receives a bizarre case like this, is one of the first things you look at whether this could all be made up?" Action News asked.
"You always have to consider the credibility of the victim," Light said.
But police told Action News there is no doubt. Investigators said items found in Padgett's basement alone were enough to put him in jail.
"Based on some of the evidence we recovered it would lead me to believe that it probably wasn't a basement being used for storage," Light said.
KIMA discovered a connection between Travis Padgett and well-known Yakima felon Jacob Lucey.
Lucey was originally sent to prison for his involvement in a shooting at Padgett's home over drug money. Lucey recently made headlines when he never returned from a jail furlough.
Padgett's history indicates he's no stranger to the legal system. Action News dug up a rap sheet of ten cases. None involved serious jail time. If they did, could this case have been avoided?
"Is it troubling for law enforcement that nobody saw this coming ... that it went on for six to seven months allegedly?" KIMA asked.
"Well this stuff happens, sadly to say, this is an egregious case," Light said. "These cases are not uncommon."
Officers agree the details of this case are among the worst of the worst.
Padgett's bail was set at $1 million.