Matthew J. Martinez, a 21-year-old Saginaw Township man, is headed to Circuit Court after he allegedly sexually assaulted a girl who is now 17 years old, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Martinez waived his right to a preliminary hearing on February 28 after appearing before Saginaw County District Judge Terry L. Clark.
News reports do not indicate the age of the alleged victim when the sexual assault took place, only that Martinez sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions in Saginaw Township. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious sexual offense in Michigan which carries a maximum criminal penalty of life in prison for those convicted.
Martinez may choose to plead guilty, no contest, or accept a plea agreement from prosecutors if offered at Circuit Court; he may also choose to proceed to trial if he maintains that he is innocent. He remains in jail on a $225,000 bond.
Michigan sex crime attorneys know that in cases like this where the defendant and alleged victim are relatively close in age, it is often a case where the victim willingly engages in sexual intercourse. Even so, it is against the law regardless of whether the victim is a willing participant. Sex offenses that involve penetration will leave the alleged offender facing extremely serious consequences if convicted. Not only may the individual face a lifetime behind bars, he or she will also be required to register as a sex offender and face other criminal penalties as well.
Sex crimes are often difficult to prosecute due to a lack of solid evidence or conflicting witness testimony. Regardless of the situation, it is critical to obtain the legal guidance and support of a seasoned Michigan sex crime defense lawyer immediately in order to avoid criminal penalties when possible and minimize the damage. Even sex crimes that do not involve penetration can leave the accused facing life-changing consequences; having to register as a sex offender will negatively impact a person’s life far more than he or she could imagine.