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Thursday, April 5, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Corrected version

Everett woman posed as boy, abused girl, police say

Seattle Times staff reporters

Lorelei Corpuz was good at convincing everyone she was a young man, police said.

For the past 18 months, Corpuz made a teenage girl and the girl's family believe that she was 17-year-old Mark Villanueva.

Police and prosecutors say that Corpuz is really 30 and has looks that support her ruse.

But early Sunday morning, Corpuz's con came to an end when she was stopped by a rookie Everett police officer, according to court papers.

The officer approached Corpuz at a gas station because she was wanted out of Marysville on a warrant for driving with a suspended license.

He then asked the teenage girl in the car why she was with the woman, said Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz.

"She gave us a curious look when he [the officer] said 'woman,' " Goetz said. "She said, 'That's my boyfriend.' "

Corpuz was arrested and taken to Marysville. Everett police then arrested her and booked her into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of rape.

The Seattle Times is not naming the girl because she is a minor and an alleged sexual-assault victim.

She said she met "Villanueva" in September 2005 at the Everett Mall food court. She told police that they went on their first date two days later, according to court papers.

Court papers list the girl as 16 years old, but the girl and Everett police say she is 14.

In an interview Wednesday, the girl said "Villanueva" told her that he was an orphan, so the teen's mother let "him" move into their South Everett duplex. The girl said "Villanueva" was supposed to share a bedroom with the teen's younger brother, but said "Villanueva" would often sneak into her room to cuddle.

"It was a regular teenage girlfriend-boyfriend thing," the girl said. "Like holding hands, hugging, kissing."

The girl told police that the couple had a sexual relationship, but that she never saw her "boyfriend's" genitals, court papers said. The girl also said that her boyfriend was jealous and abusive, and she was bitten on the back twice and struck weekly.

She told The Times Corpuz interfered with her friendships with boys her own age.

"She made it like a serious relationship, like we're married," the girl said.

On Wednesday, Corpuz was charged in Everett District Court in Snohomish County with two counts of rape of a child in the third-degree and one count of child molestation in the third degree, all felonies. If convicted, Corpuz faces up to five years in prison.

"I understand there's been a whole lot of hoopla surrounding the sexual orientation issues in this case," said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roe. "This case is all about age and not orientation."

Corpuz has previously been convicted of attempted theft in Bellevue.

Lynnwood Police Deputy Chief Paul Watkins said that an officer stopped Mark Villanueva in February for driving with a suspended license. The suspect's gender wasn't called into question.

The officer cited Villanueva for driving with a suspended license.

Watkins said police are investigating the traffic stop. If Corpuz lied about her identity she could face a criminal impersonation charge, Watkins said.

Renton police arrested Corpuz in 2005 on suspicion of forgery for allegedly impersonating her sister while trying to make a purchase at a car dealership. The case was dropped by police when a witness didn't want to follow through with charges.

Times staff reporters Natalie Singer and Christopher Schwarzen contributed to this report.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

Information in this article, originally published April 5, was corrected April 17. A previous version of this story may have given the impression that a Lynnwood police officer pulled over Lorelei Corpuz in a traffic stop in February while she was not posing as someone else. The 30-year-old woman was masquerading as a 17-year-old boy named Mark Villanueva, and had identification for Villanueva.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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