After a three day trial that began on Monday, Historic City News reporters waited as a St Johns County jury deliberated for approximately 30-minutes today, before finding 38-year-old David Manuel Martinez guilty of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl until she was 12.
Following the verdict, Senior Judge Edward E. Hedstrom sentenced Martinez to life in prison for each of two counts of sexual battery on person less than 12-years of age, a capital felony; and thirty-years in prison for each of three counts of sexual battery; engaging in sexual conduct with a minor 12-18 years of age, a first degree felony — each sentence to run consecutive, a total of 90 years in prison and the two life terms.
“There are few crimes more disgusting than abusing the trust of a child to engage in sexual crimes,” State Attorney RJ Larizza said. “The courageous testimony of the victim made justice a reality in this case.”
The victim testified that the defendant blindfolded her or put a blanket over her head when he sexually abused her.
In her own journal and in her own words, the victim wrote, “It feels like I am being raped” and “I am scared out of my mind” according to prosecutor Kelly Wark.
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Dunton, also a prosecutor in this case, said, “The victim deserves the last word, and the last word is guilty”.
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