Canadian navy sailor found dead after guilty verdict in child-luring trial
Sailors from Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Calgary prepare to depart from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii in July 2016. (Corporal Brett White-Finkle, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)
VICTORIA -- A sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy was found dead in his home on Vancouver Island on Thursday, just hours after he was convicted of sex crimes and disgraceful conduct in a military court martial.
The RCMP and the coroner’s service are investigating the death of Master Sailor Randolph “Randy” Machtmes, the navy confirmed Monday. The cause of death has not been determined.
Machtmes was found guilty Thursday on charges of child luring, invitation to sexual touching and disgraceful conduct.
The charges stemmed from online communications the sailor had with an Australian teenage boy while his ship, HMCS Calgary, was in Darwin, Australia, as part of Operation Projection in 2018.
Machtmes was 43 years old at the time of the offences and the victim was 15. The court heard last week that Machtmes and the victim exchanged hundreds of highly sexual Instagram messages between September and November 2018.
Police in New South Wales, Australia, initially reported the communications to Interpol, who alerted the RCMP’s national child exploitation centre in January 2019.
The victim and his mother both testified at the trial about the sexually explicit nature of the messages, including requests for photos of the victim and his girlfriend.
The prosecution argued that while Machtmes was in Australia on what was essentially a diplomatic visit, he sought out a vulnerable youth, instigated highly sexualized conversations and encouraged the teen to engage in sexual activity with his girlfriend who was the same age as the victim.
The defence argued that anyone could have authored the messages from the sailor's account while he was deployed.
Machtmes was scheduled to be sentenced for the crimes on April 22.