Juan Martinez

Martinez

A 42-year-old man was sentenced Thursday, Dec. 5, to 15 years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl multiple times in 2017.

Juan Antonio Martinez was convicted in February of continuous sexual abuse of a child, a class AA felony. During the three-day trial, the girl testified that Martinez raped her as many as nine times when she was 12 years old.

At a sentencing hearing Thursday, Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, asked Northwest District Judge Benjamen Johnson to sentence Martinez to serve 20 years in prison and spend five years on probation.

William Sand, Martinez’s defense attorney, asked for a sentence of six years to serve with probation to follow.

Madden said Martinez’s actions harmed the victim and his behavior since his arrest showed he was unwilling to listen to authority.

“Basically from day one he just hasn’t complied with anything,” Madden said.

Madden pointed to the fact that Martinez refused to even sign a form acknowledging he’d received orientation materials when he was first booked into the Williams County jail. He said criminal charges were going to be filed soon accusing Martinez of violating a court order to only contact his wife or his lawyer while in jail.

“Why would we think at this point in time on probation he would listen to his probation officer?” Madden asked.

Sand argued that a lighter sentence was justified because Martinez had no criminal history and a presentence investigation and risk assessment found he was a lower-than-average risk to re-offend.

“Mr. Martinez has absolutely zero criminal history,” Sand told Johnson.

He also pointed out that the risk assessment done as part of the presentence investigation put Martinez in the level 2, below-average risk range. That means he was found to be slightly more likely to commit another offense than someone who hadn’t been convicted of a sex offense, but lower than an average offender.

Sand also questioned whether Martinez’s behavior in jail was relevant to determining his sentence.

“I don’t think behavior at the jail … means you’re likely to commit a sex offense again,” he said.

Johnson said the harm done to the girl Martinez was accused of raping was clear.

“Obviously this is a very serious offense,” he said. “It does include a minor and it did cause serious harm to the victim. I think that’s obvious. The charge, the offense, the conduct was unacceptable.”

He said he was weighing Martinez’s behavior in jail against the fact he had no criminal history before this case. Johnson said he wasn’t going to follow either side’s recommendation.

He sentenced Martinez to 20 years in prison with five years suspended and ordered him to serve 10 years of probation after he’s released. Martinez will also have to register as a sex offender and is not allowed to have any contact with the girl while in prison or on probation.

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