Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Man faces prison time, deportation for sex crimes against teens in Douglas County

November 3, 2017

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A man convicted of sex crimes against teens in Douglas County will serve prison time in Kansas, then be subject to deportation to Mexico.

A Douglas County District Court Judge on Friday sentenced 44-year-old Pedro I. Martinez, of Wichita, to more than seven and a half years, or 94 months, in prison for the crimes, which Martinez committed more than five years ago but was arrested for just this year.

Prior to the judge’s ruling, Martinez spoke through a Spanish interpreter.

“I want to apologize for everything that happened. I thought they were older,” he said, adding that he does not speak English. “I’m apologizing to all the people affected, and the court.”

Pedro I. Martinez

Pedro I. Martinez

Martinez pleaded no contest and was convicted in September of one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child, both felonies.

Prior to the plea agreement, he was charged with six counts of felony sex crimes — including one count of rape — against two victims who were between 14 and 16 years old. According to the charges, the crimes occurred from 2011 to 2012.

The case against Martinez was filed in 2012, but he wasn’t located and arrested until this year, prosecutor Alice Walker said.

The victims chose not to attend Martinez’s sentencing, Walker said. She said previously that the plea agreement enabled them to avoid testifying in court.

In sentencing Martinez, Judge James McCabria followed the recommendation agreed on by prosecutors and Martinez. In addition to prison time, Martinez must register as a sex offender for life, the judge said.

In asking the judge to impose a sentence no harsher than the recommendation, Martinez’s appointed attorney, Michael Clarke, emphasized that his client, who is in this country illegally, also would be subject to deportation when he gets out of prison.

“That is a stark reality for someone in Mr. Martinez’s shoes, who has been in the United States for a lengthy period of time, being deported to a country that he is a resident of but really no longer knows,” Clarke said.

Clarke said Martinez’s wife and young child were at the courthouse for his sentencing, and that Martinez's mother and other relatives had attended his last hearing. Clarke said Martinez “will have to navigate his way toward establishing a life in Mexico despite the fact that he has a family here in the United States now.”

The judge told Martinez he would waive his court costs and fees because of his indigence, the length of time he would be incarcerated “and the likelihood of your deportation.”

“I appreciate the fact that you came into this court and accepted responsibility for what occurred,” McCabria said. “Because of that, I thought the plea agreement was fair, and I followed it.”

More details about Martinez's crimes are not publicly known.

The Journal-World previously requested the probable cause affidavit for Martinez’s arrest, but the court denied the request. McCabria wrote that releasing the document before a preliminary hearing “would jeopardize the mental or emotional safety or well-being of a victim and interfere with prospective prosecution.”

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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