Jury gets case of former police sergeant accused of voyeurism

EVERETT — A former Monroe police sergeant was described as both a cunning manipulator and a well-meaning fool as lawyers made their final pitches Wednesday as his trial on sex crimes came to a close.

A Snohomish County Superior Court jury was scheduled to begin deliberating Thursday morning the case against Carlos Alberto Martinez.

Martinez, 61, is charged with voyeurism and possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, both felonies. Jurors listened to more than two weeks of testimony about his connection to a young woman whom he met when she was 10 and a student in his drug-abuse resistance class.

Now 26, she eventually moved to Texas where she became his live-in girlfriend. When the relationship dissolved in 2011, she went to police with videos that Martinez made of her showering at his Monroe home in 2004. At the time, she was 15 and the family babysitter.

The evidence is clear that Martinez not only created the videos without the young woman’s consent but he did so for his sexual gratification, deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul said in closing arguments.

Along the way Martinez preyed on the former babysitter’s trust and affection, touching her sexually when she was still in her early teens and encouraging her attention, she said.

The experience “chained her to him, not literally, but emotionally and psychologically,” Paul said.

She described the young woman as “not so much a witness in this case as a human exhibit” of the harm that is done by adults who groom teens for sex.

Martinez’ attorney, Mark Mestel, said the evidence is clear his client was pursued by the former babysitter and that they did not engage in sex until she was an adult.

Evidence shows she’s somebody who lied to her family about why she was living in Texas, told differing stories to detectives about what happened to her over the years, and that she knew about the tapes long before she went to police, Mestel said.

The attorney said he did not enjoy asking questions that made her cry or confronting her with explicit videos, but said it was necessary to get to the truth.

The young woman “has no credibility,” he said. “It is sad. It is sad to anybody who has a shred of human compassion.”

As for his client, Mestel said it’s clear that Martinez is a womanizer who was “camera crazy” and liked to create a visual record of his sex life — especially with the young woman. But Mestel said the evidence also shows Martinez cared for her well-being when she was a teen and decided to secretly record her taking showers because he was worried she was cutting herself.

It was “an extremely poor exercise in judgment,” but not sexually motivated, Mestel said.

There were other ways Martinez could have addressed his concerns without resorting to surveillance cameras, Paul countered. They included going to the girl’s parents with concerns, or seeking help from school counselors, child social workers and other police officers.

Instead, Martinez told no one about his recordings.

“It was secret and it was secret for a reason,” Paul said.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

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