OKC Police Sgt. pleads guilty to sex abuse
OKLAHOMA CITY — Less than a week before the case was set to go to a jury trial, Maurice Martinez struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a dozen counts of sexual abuse of a child.
Martinez, an Oklahoma City police sergeant, was arrested January of 2011 when one of his foster sons accused him of sexual abuse.
Martinez had been taking in foster kids for more than a decade and had actually adopted several of them.
From the beginning, Martinez maintained his innocence and his extended family of foster and adopted kids rallied around him.
“Mr. Martinez, we firmly believe, was a very master at manipulating these young boys,” Gayland Gieger said, Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney. ”He groomed them and he provided them a place to live when no other parent would do that.”
In the end, Martinez plead guilty to 12 counts of sexual abuse of a child, one count of harboring an endangered runaway child and one count of obstructing an officer.
“He cared for them. He gave them an environment where they felt like they were part of something. But at the same time, he committed what we believe to be very, very atrocious acts of sexual abuse against them,” Gieger said.
However, those atrocious acts won’t send Martinez to prison.
His sentence was 25 years probation with two years served at the county jail, with credit for time already served, followed by two years of house arrest.
“For four years, we’re going to know exactly where Maurice Martinez is. He’s going to have an ankle bracelet and obviously have probation officers to check in with for the remaining two years of his house arrest,” Gieger said.
Prosecutors said the case was riddled with problems.
Every single victim recanted their story at one time or another.
“We honestly didn’t know what the young men would say this time whenever they came into court,” Gieger said.
There were setbacks in the police investigation, including a break in at Martinez’s home where key pieces of evidence were taken.
Gieger said despite the image of a weak punishment, the fact remains that Maurice Martinez will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
“He will be on that register and hopefully people will know that they’re dealing with what we consider to be a very, very dangerous predator.”
Jordan Martinez, one of Martinez’s adopted sons, sent us this text message defending his dad after the conviction:
“I am very unhappy that a man that did nothing has to be put through this. And our Martinez family are [sic] together with love and spirit.”
But the mother of a couple of the boys involved in the case said she felt the sentence was not harsh enough and that Martinez is getting away with it.