Judge denies bail for accused Oklahoma City police officer
An Oklahoma County judge denied bail Monday for Oklahoma City police Sgt. Maurice Martinez, who is charged with sexually abusing his adopted and foster sons.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL
An Oklahoma County judge called police Sgt. Maurice Martinez a man with nothing to lose who stands “a strong likelihood” of being convicted as he denied bail in a Monday court hearing.
District Judge Donald L. Deason rejected defense attorney Irven Box’s request to allow Martinez to stay at Martinez’s parents’ Oklahoma City home under strict supervision while he awaits trial on charges he sexually abused his foster and adopted sons and harbored runaway juveniles.
“The nature of these charges speak for themselves,” Deason said.
Oklahoma City police detective Priscilla Helm testified Monday that Martinez has threatened his accusers, witnesses, people who reported the accusations to police, state Department of Human Services personnel and herself.
Martinez told confidants the adopted son who made the allegations that led to his initial January arrest had “a bullet with that child’s name on it” and would be found “floating in a river,” Helm told the court.
Martinez, 44, had been free on bail but was arrested a second time in April after authorities found the accuser in Utah.
Police accuse Martinez of buying a bus ticket for the boy, who ran away from DHS custody after Martinez’s first arrest. Police say Martinez arranged for the boy to stay with someone Martinez knows.
Martinez had a second runaway juvenile with him when he was arrested in April in a sting, and officers used a Taser on Martinez when he resisted arrest, police reported.
Helm testified Monday that Martinez had been at his parents’ house before he was arrested in the early hours of April 15.
Martinez’s parents sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery during the hearing but displayed little emotion.
Martinez, who was shackled and wearing orange jail-issued clothing, said nothing during the hearing other than whispered comments to Box. In January, he denied the charges against him in an interview with The Oklahoman.
Martinez was returned to the Oklahoma County jail after the hearing.
He faces a 37-count indictment in which prosecutors accuse him of abusing the children for years and attempting to hide his accusers from authorities.
‘No proof,’ lawyer says
Box argued unsuccessfully that Martinez does not pose a flight risk or a threat to the public, saying the case against his client is based in large part on the statements of others.
He said prosecutors’ argument that Martinez should remain jailed is based entirely on those statements.
“These are just allegations,” Box said during the hearing.
“There has been no proof.”
Helm testified that Martinez went to Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada between his January and April arrests, but she acknowledged the trips were not an effort to avoid prosecution.
Box said after the hearing that the judge’s ruling was not a surprise, but he expects some of the charges to be dismissed in an upcoming pretrial hearing.
A pretrial conference is set for May 12.
Martinez remains on paid administrative leave from his job as a patrol officer on the city’s south side.
He earned about $76,000 in the 12 months ending in March, city payroll records show, with roughly the last two months’ pay during that period coming after his January arrest.