BREAKING: Casper Defendant Gets 30-45 Years for Rape of 10-Year-Old
A Casper defendant convicted of sexually assaulting a child was sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment Thursday in Natrona County District Court.
Judge Catherine Wilking sentenced Miguel Alberto Martinez to 30-45 years for first-degree sexual abuse of a child. Wilking also ordered Martinez to serve a concurrent 15- to 20-year sentence on one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a child.
Martinez will also have to repay $3,068.25 to reimburse Wyoming Medicaid for the victim's medical expenses. Wilking included a recommendation for Martinez to receive intensive substance abuse treatment while in prison.
A jury deliberated for about two hours before convicting Martinez in October. The jury found that Martinez raped a 10-year-old girl in a bathroom inside the victim's home in March 2017.
In crafting the sentencing options for such crimes, Wilking said Thursday, the Wyoming Legislature "has clearly indicated that these are some of the most serious offenses that can be committed in the State of Wyoming."
Natrona District Attorney Mike Blonigen said during Thursday's hearing that Martinez has a "very serious, troubling history of violence." Public defender Dylan Rosalez also said Martinez has an "abysmal" criminal history.
"This is a very serious offense against a 10-year-old child," Blonigen told Wilking in making his sentencing recommendation. "You can't really underestimate the effect this has had on this child."
"That's what she's going to carry with her for the rest of her life," Blonigen added.
In reviewing Martinez's criminal history, Blonigen said, he counted 12 separate cases in which Martinez was charged with assault. Other past crimes include driving while under the influence and violations related to substance abuse.
Blonigen called Martinez's criminal record "incredibly disturbing."
"It has been going on for almost 15 years now," Blonigen emphasized. "So this is not an isolated incident. This is not a one-off."
Blonigen went on to say that Martinez evidently does not understand the role of substance abuse in past crimes. Blonigen recommended Martinez receive serious treatment while incarcerated because, he said, continued substance abuse heightens the risk of recidivism.
Rosalez, in recommending that Martinez receive a suspended prison sentence with probation, referenced Martinez's status as a transgender individual.
"In a lot of ways, that has drastically affected her life," Rosalez said, adding that Martinez has struggled with long-term mental health issues.
Rosalez said that transgender people see higher rates of substance abuse and suicide.
This case, Rosalez continued, marks Martinez's first felony conviction, despite a lengthy criminal history. Rosalez said substance abuse treatment would be "critical."
"I am a very kind-hearted, understanding and honest person," Martinez said in a tearful statement to the court. "I never in my life guessed I would have to endure something so horrific."
Martinez maintained innocence in the case, and asked Wilking to consider what evidence was and was not presented at trial before deciding upon a sentence. Martinez called the crime "something I know in my heart I did not do."
Although the term of imprisonment was not as long as that requested by Blonigen, he said after Thursday's hearing that he was satisfied with the sentence. He called it an appropriate sentence for a serious crime.