A former church volunteer who pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in state District Court last August has been indicted by a grand jury on three new charges.
An Aug. 9 indictment charges Anthony Martinez, 36, with three separate counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child younger than 13. The charges stem from alleged incidents in 2007 that were brought to light by a victim who has been working with state police Agent Kraig Bobnock, the indictment states.
Martinez was a part-time volunteer with the Edge youth-ministry program at Santa María de la Paz Catholic Community in Santa Fe.
According to court records, Martinez was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 15, for his guilty plea on the two counts in 2011, but the new charges likely will delay that hearing.
Martinez’s plea to the two counts, which carried up to a 7 1/2-year prison sentence, was part of an agreement with the state that dropped felony charges of criminal sexual penetration, a charge of giving alcohol to a minor and two counts of criminal solicitation. State District Judge Michael Vigil ordered Martinez to participate in STOP, a 12-month intensive inpatient treatment program for sex offenders, at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, N.M.
State police records from the 2011 charges say Martinez had given a cellphone to a teen boy in exchange for permission to perform oral sex on the boy. The documents also say Martinez admitted serving alcohol to another teen boy, watching pornographic movies with the boy and masturbating at least once in the same room as the boy, but never touching him.At his plea hearing last year, Martinez told the court: "If there is anything I could do to stop all the pain I’ve caused, it would be to go back and change it, but I can’t.” According to court records, he also said that he had been cooperative with police and admitted to everything since his arrest.
But Judge Vigil told Martinez he had seen too many defendants make such claims disingenuously. “I don’t know how much of that is motivated by you wanting to save your own skin and how much is you truly wanting to change who you are,” Vigil said to Martinez, according to records.Martinez has teenage daughters and lost a $57,000-per-year job at the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe, his attorney, Andras Szantho, told reporters last year. His parents and several supporters asked for leniency at his plea hearing, saying that Martinez had no prior criminal history and that he is a good father and deeply religious.
After Martinez was arrested in November 2010, church officials said they encouraged all members of the congregation who had any information about the allegations to cooperate with police.
“Immediately as we became aware of this, we contacted the archdiocese [of Santa Fe] and police, along with the parents of the individual involved,” said the Rev. Adam Lee Ortega y Ortiz, who is now at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. “What was [of] the utmost importance to me was the protection of our children.”
Ortega y Ortiz told reporters Martinez was asked to turn in his keys to the parish and not take part in future church activities. State police also said none of the allegations ever indicated misconduct on church grounds or at a church function.
Martinez is scheduled to be arraigned for the latest accusations against him Monday, Aug. 20, in state District Judge Stephen Pfeffer’s court. Judge Vigil said Tuesday that it appears the new charges will postpone the sentencing for last year’s charges.Contact Nico Roesler at 986-3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nicoroesler.