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Woman, 30, posed as teenage boy in sex case

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By Jackson HoltzThe Everett Herald

EVERETT - An Everett woman who posed as a teenage boy was arrested Sunday for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl who believed the older woman was her boyfriend.

Lorelei Josephine Corpuz, 30, lived for more than a year as a 17-year-old boy named "Mark," according to papers filed in Everett District Court.

As "Mark," Corpuz persuaded the girl's family to let "Mark" live in their home as the girl's boyfriend. Corpuz claimed to be an orphan, police alleged.

It wasn't until police arrested Corpuz on Sunday on an unrelated matter that the girl and her family learned that "Mark" was a woman - and almost twice the age they were led to believe, according to court papers.

That's when officers were told that Corpuz allegedly had beaten and sexually assaulted the girl.

"The family was very surprised to learn that this female who had presented herself as a juvenile male was in fact" an adult woman, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said Tuesday.

Police initially arrested Corpuz on a traffic warrant.

On Tuesday, she was being held at the Snohomish County Jail on $150,000 bail for investigation of third-degree child rape. No charges have been filed.

The case may leave lasting emotional scars for the girl and her family, experts said.

"This is an extremely unusual story," said Lucy Berliner, director of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Trauma Stress in Seattle. "Female-on-female sexual abuse is the rarest category. It doesn't happen very often at all."

The girl met "Mark" in September 2005 at a shopping mall, Goetz said.

They spoke over the phone and went on a date, according to court papers.

"Mark" told the girl and her parents that his mother died of cancer and his father killed himself, the papers said.

The girl told police the relationship became abusive and that she was hit weekly and twice was bitten on the back.

Corpuz was driving without a license when police stopped her on Sunday and determined she had a traffic warrant from Marysville for driving without a license.

The 14-year-old was in the car at the time and Corpuz was reluctant to let police talk to the girl, Goetz said.

The girl's parents were called and the family was interviewed. English is not their native language, Goetz said.

Corpuz has a criminal history stretching back to 2001. The state's court computer database lists "Mark" as her alias on a theft case in King County six years ago.

Everett and Marysville police recognized her as a woman. She may have been able to pass herself off as a man when stopped by Lynnwood police earlier this year, however.

In February, a person was stopped for driving with a suspended license in Lynnwood and was using Corpuz's "Mark" alias.

That person has the same height, weight, race and eye color as Corpuz, but police on Tuesday couldn't confirm that it was her. The person was given a ticket and released, said Paul Watkins, a Lynnwood police spokesman.

When posing as a man, Corpuz apparently uses her brother's name and identity, Goetz said.

"She was able to get away with it," he said. "Apparently she's good at what she does."

The combination of being abused - then learning her trust was misplaced - may be especially difficult for the girl, Berliner said.

"One is trauma, the other is shocking," she said. "Having both at the same time is very likely to make the effects of the abuse worse."

The girl needs the loving support of family and friends, said Dr. Frank Ochberg, a Michigan psychiatrist and internationally known expert on the effects of trauma.

"In this kind of case it's almost inevitable that there will be a period of time when the victim blames herself and feels embarrassed," he said.

"A lot of what you deal with is self-blame. You'd think the perpetrator would feel shame and embarrassment, but it doesn't work that way. It's the victim who feels that way."

The girl and her family need to be reassured that this is a highly unusual case, Berliner said.

They shouldn't feel bad.

"Why would you suspect it? How often do people go around lying about their gender?" she said. "It's too weird for people to imagine, so why would you imagine it?"

Reporter Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437 ordocument.write(""); document.write("jholtz"+"@"+"heraldnet.com");jholtz@heraldnet.comdocument.write('');

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17944844/



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