Española man Austin Martinez reportedly admitted to Española police nearly three years ago that he printed child pornography in CVS, but he was not charged over the incident until his behavior allegedly escalated late last year.

“I told Mr. Martinez that he was getting a big break and could have easily been arrested for what he had done,” Española Police Department Sgt. George Martinez wrote in 2017. “I stated to him that he could lose his career over acts like this and needed to realize it.”

A federal database tipped off local authorities in December 2019 that Austin Martinez uploaded child pornography to the internet that November.

He was charged for uploading nude pictures of girls believed to be five to 12 years old in early December 2019 and was indicted over the July 2017 CVS incident later that month.

A District Attorney’s Office spokesperson wrote in a statement that they had been unable to make a charging decision without a final report from the Española Police Department.

“Throughout 2019 The (sic) District Attorney’s Office requested Detective Martinez’s final report but did not receive it until December of 2019,” wrote spokesperson Henry Varela of the 2017 case.

In the same report in which Sgt. Martinez wrote he told Austin Martinez he would be charged with a 4th degree felony if he was ever caught doing something like printing child pornography again. He wrote “this case will be forward (sic) to the District Attorney’s office for further review.”

The Española Police Department declined to comment on this story.

After the December 2019 tip, Española Police Det. Ernest Saucedo reportedly found that Austin Martinez had hundreds of non-nude photos of underage girls he knew through his workplace—which is unspecified—and that he gave them numerous gifts, sparking concern from the girls’ parents.

Sgt. Martinez warned the man in 2017 that his actions could jeopardize his career at DeVargas Funeral Home, where an administrator confirmed Tuesday he has not worked “for some time.”

Police records do not indicate any grooming occurred at the funeral home.

Prosecutors wrote that Austin Martinez’s actions were likely close to escalating further.

“Defendant’s behavior is advancing from passive to active,” they wrote. “It is highly likely, based on the facts learned in this investigation, that Defendant was close to creating child pornography has (sic) he not been caught by law enforcement.”

He reportedly freely admitted to possessing child pornography both in 2017 and the more recent investigation. Sgt. Martinez wrote the man brought the photos he was printing at CVS—which depicted young girls at a nude beach—to the Police Department upon request and that he told the sergeant the website where he downloaded them and that he had similar photos on an old phone.

Judge Jason Lidyard denied a request for pretrial detention in December 2019 and gave Austin Martinez conditions of release including bans on using the internet or going to places frequented by children, such as parks or schools.

Martinez, 22, could face up to six years in prison for recently uploading child pornography and up to 18 months for possessing child pornography in 2017. Jury selection for both cases—in which he pleaded not guilty—is set for June 2020.

(11) comments

lucky

"I fight for kids". You have so much insight and reliable information. Why did you not contact NMSP with such detailed knowledge. You even compliment Mr. Martinez's entire family. In short, I don't believe you.

I fight for kids

Whether or not you believe me does not matter one bit! Why would I criticize his family? They didn't commit this atrocity. Ironically, another comment in the thread says that I'm bashing his family. I merely stated that we all love our family members, that was it. As for me coming forward, unless you have intimate knowledge of the situation, then you don't know how things came to light. The agency I work for is privy to confidential information. Besides that, there's nothing more to say.

I fight for kids

Anyone who covers up for a pedophile is helping them to continue with the crime. I know that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. But I also know the victims, so I feel pretty confident in saying that the incident/s did occur. I saw the mothers falling apart when they were notified by detectives and I saw how the little girls responded when they were taken to our agency for questioning. These children had to endure the unthinkable for a child of that age (3 and 4) just so that Austin could be let out on his own recognizance. I know the family, I know that they have strong political ties. I am not bashing them, they love their son, brother, grandson, just like we all love our own, and just like the mothers involved love their daughters. I just find it very unfair that he doesn't even have to wear an ankle monitor to ensure that he is adhering to his conditions of release (which he is not). He hangs around at a local daycare, a local school that is part of a church, and he hangs out at a church where there are many children present...how is this safe???

As for how I fight for kids, that is of no relevance since this thread is not about me. It is about a pedophile in our midst.

Really?

Thank you for your clarification. I agree the police officer dropped the ball. I'm sure there are mire victims out there.

1983 Action

"The Española Police Department declined to comment on this story...."

The one chance that the "leadership" from the Espanola Police Department or city administration, should have actually gone on record, and we get silence! Crickets... I guess because the RGS did not give them another opportunity for gratuitous back patting or bragging about fake statistics*. (Refer to the "documentary" that the mayor had made depicting the valley as a dark, crime and drug infested area, featuring his poor excuse for a "police chief" Roger Jimenez. Roger making up violent crime statistics and arrests). You actually have to be on patrol in the city in order to investigate crime and make arrests, mi jito!

In this case, the EPD could have come out with a "mea culpa" and ensured the public that such delays in their "investigative reports" are unacceptable. They could assure us and the victims that investigations and reports would be done in a timely manner in order to ensure public trust and, more importantly ensure that victims would be protected in the future. But no, no such acknowledgement of liability or fault here. Just another "no comment."

To admit fault would require humility. It would require a sense of professionalism. It would require a sense of what it really takes to run a professional law enforcement agency. Unfortunately, the city remains clueless. Yet, they all got raises.

Mr. Trapp, you were correct last week. The fact that everyone in this corrupt, incompetent "police department" gets a raise-regardless of their effort or ability-will only maintain the status quo. In case you haven't guessed it, the "status quo" is: The EPD doesn't care. It's so-called "leadership" doesn't care. The mayor doesn't care. As long as they all get their sound bites and continue to pad their political nests, they are happy. Don't bother going on the record and confront the real issues your incompetence creates.

I would imagine the attorneys for the victims of Mr. Martinez are preparing their tort claim notices as we speak. And the city will continue to pay out our funds to settle the cases!

Espanola doesn't need a Police Oversight Committee. It needs the public to actually care and vote these idiots out of office! Until then, hold on to your pocket books!

I fight for kids

Thinking out loud: if this guy had been taken care of properly in 2017, he wouldn't have gotten this far. Where does he work? Why is it not disclosed. People have a right to know in order to protect their children. I don't want to take my child anywhere that this person may be. Why is he even out on the streets? Political ties perhaps? His grandpa who was once a state police officer and then a judge should have to pay for this crime as well if he helped him get away with it. According to NMCOURTS, Judge Joe Madrid is the one who let him out scott free, not even an ankle monitor to ensure that he is not around children. Judge Madrid should also be accountable from the day he let AUstin out and forward, for any crime that Austin commits, since he's the one who let him out. Why is the man in Santa Fe not named? He should be since children need to be protected from him as well. Our system is failing our kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really?

You fight for kids. Good for you. Don't slander this man's family. You sound like you are ignorant and speak without knowledge. While I agree we should keep children safe, I could blame your ancestors for you spewing hate and ignorance.

I fight for kids

I don't hate and I am not ignorant. Everything that I have stated is factual. I would not speak without knowledge of the situation.

Really?

"His grandpa who was once a state police officer and then a judge should have to pay for this crime as well if he helped him get away with it." Then please explain this statement and your first hand knowledge.

Really?

And how do you fight for kids?

I fight for kids

You can do the research yourself to find out if these facts are true. And again, how I fight for kids is of no consequence to the conversation.

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