The trial for former Deputy Superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools, Jason Martinez, who is accused of sexually assaulting two children in Colorado, got underway Tuesday in Denver.
Martinez was out of jail on bond when he applied for the job at APS, though he was never supposed to leave Colorado in the first place.
Now-former Superintendent Luis Valentino resigned after it came to light he had hired Martinez without Martinez ever completing a background check.
In court Tuesday, opening statements revealed more about the charges Martinez faces.
Because the case involves child victims – aged 11 and 6 years old at the time of the alleged abuse – KOB’s cameras are not allowed in the courtroom.
Shielded by his teenage grandson, Martinez did not answer any of KOB’s questions as he ran down two flights of stairs and out a side exit of the court.
In the courtroom, KOB learned the case involves several Martinez family members. He faces four counts of sexual assault on a child. Two of those counts carry a notation that he has a “pattern of abuse.”
Tuesday evening, the court watched a forensic video interview of Martinez’s alleged 6-year-old victim, which detailed the alleged abuse.
Prosecutors say the boy is the son of very unstable parents and was mentored by Martinez in an adoptive, family-like relationship. The boy knew Martinez as “Grandpa J.”
Prosecutors say the boys lived in Wyoming and were victimized by Martinez during a stay at his Denver home.
His defense says Martinez had taken the boy away from his parents, who both have criminal histories and unstable lives at home. They said the parents coerced their kids into alleing abuse to get money out of Martinez.
His defense on Tuesday slammed the state’s case against Martinez as an attempt by deadbeat parents to use their own kids to get money out of a successful man – all in an effort to frame Martinez for the abuse of their children after he tried to protect them.
We’ll have more on this case throughout the evening and rest of the week on KOB.com and KOB 4.