Sailor found dead at home after guilty verdict at court martial

Master Sailor Randolph Machtmes was found dead in his residence Thursday night, hours after being found guilty at a Victoria court martial of luring a child, invitation to sexual touching and disgraceful conduct.

The navy confirmed the death Friday. It said next of kin has been notified and the Canadian Armed Forces is providing support.

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The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death, which the navy said is not considered suspicious.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of MS Machtmes.”

The navy said its focus is on supporting those close to Machtmes “as well as determining the impact this death will have on the ongoing legal processes.”

Machtmes’s sentencing hearing had been set for April 22.

The charges against him stemmed from online communications the sailor ­initiated with a 15-year-old boy between September and November 2018. At the time, Machtmes’s ship, HMCS Calgary, was in Darwin, Australia, as part of a ­multinational exercise.

The boy and his mother went to ­Australian police and presented a large number of social media messages involving the boy and Machtmes.

Some of the messages had sexual ­comments in them. No physical contact was involved.

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