Evidence detailed against Oklahoma City officer accused of sex abuse
Investigators in an affidavit detail evidence against Oklahoma City police Sgt. Maurice Martinez, who was arrested in January on sex abuse complaints. Martinez has not been charged.
Investigators found photos of police Sgt. Maurice Martinez’s foster children in various stages of undress, a video of a foster child describing sex acts performed with another child, hundreds of photos of homosexual pornography and a surveillance camera in a child’s room when searching the arrested officer’s home in January, according to an affidavit.Martinez, 44, was arrested Jan. 19 on multiple sex abuse complaints. He has not been charged. The affidavit was filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court to establish probable cause in the Friday arrest of Thomas Frank Salazar, 31, of Oklahoma City, whom police accuse of breaking into Martinez’s home overnight Jan. 20 as police took a break from searching it.
Investigators accuse Martinez, who has denied the allegations against him and said police botched the investigation, of sexually abusing one of his adopted sons over about two years, detective Douglas Hurst wrote in the affidavit. The boy told officers Martinez began abusing him when he was 14.
The boy told investigators Martinez fondled him and had the boy fondle Martinez, according to the affidavit. He told police Martinez asked him to perform a sex act, but he refused, and that other children in Martinez’s care also had been abused.
The boy later recanted his accusations to police, and Martinez’s family provided media outlets with two videos that purportedly showed the accuser saying he lied to investigators. Investigators accuse Martinez of orchestrating those videos and being present when they were filmed, Hurst wrote.
Martinez’s attorney, Irven Box, said he thinks a lot of the evidence outlined in the affidavit is hearsay, and noted that investigators have yet to present their report to prosecutors to consider charges. But he said the evidence described in the affidavit “sounds bad. On the surface, it sounds bad.” “The affidavit itself looks pretty damning,” Box said. “We’re waiting for the system to work. ... If they have enough information to bring a charge, then we stand ready to defend it.”
Police found images of nude and seminude foster children under Martinez’s care among the hundreds of photos of homosexual pornography discovered on Martinez’s cell phone and computer, according to the affidavit.
Investigators also found a video of a foster child holding a $1 bill, saying it was payment for sex acts performed with another foster child. Another video of the child who described the acts shows him being beaten, kicked, choked and tackled by other children, the affidavit states.
Martinez has taken care of dozens of foster children, all boys, over the past decade.
A confidential informant who is not identified in the affidavit told officers Salazar was the person who sneaked into Martinez’s home while it was under police guard during a break in the search of the residence, Hurst wrote. The informant told police Salazar broke into the home at Martinez’s direction.
The informant also told police Martinez orchestrated the videos of the accuser saying he lied to police, according to the affidavit.
Another former foster child, Troy Dobbs, 18, of Fort Drum, N.Y., corroborated the informant’s statements when police went to New York to interview him. Dobbs said he took the accuser to a fast-food restaurant, where Martinez pressured the boy to recant on video.
Dobbs also told investigators Salazar was the person who burglarized Martinez’s home and that Salazar took some evidence and planted other things, Hurst wrote. Dobbs told police the accuser and other children had described to him abuse by Martinez before.
Salazar told The Oklahoman in January he was never in Martinez’s official custody but that Martinez took him into his home when he was a teenager and provided him guidance. He said he supports Martinez and thinks he’s innocent. Salazar has previous felony convictions for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and concealing stolen property, court records show.
Salazar was arrested as an accessory after the fact on complaints of lewd acts with a child, lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a child younger than 16 and allowing abuse by a caretaker, according to the affidavit. He has not been charged. He was released on $40,000 bail, jail records show.
Efforts to reach Martinez were not successful Monday. Martinez was released on bail shortly after he was arrested and remains on paid administrative leave from his job as a patrol officer in south Oklahoma City.
All of the children in Martinez’s care were removed from his home after his arrest.