Judge Conflicted at Bail Review Hearing, Eventually Grants Pretrial Release in Child Abuse Case

By Allison Hodge

SACRAMENTO, CA– Defendant Adam Martinez was granted level six pretrial release at his bail review hearing in Sacramento County Superior Court Dept. 63 Wednesday, following arguments regarding child abuse allegations.

Judge Patrick Marlette presided over the case, and appeared visibly conflicted over the status of the defendant’s no-bail hold. Martinez faces one count of child endangerment and one count of child abuse against his eight-month-old baby, whose mother claims was abused for months.

The defense, led by private attorney Joel Scott, motioned to release Martinez, and stated that he and Deputy District Attorney Quirina Orozco could not reach an agreement.

Scott maintained that, while the allegations of child abuse are serious, he believes, “The facts are in dispute,” and plans to challenge them in the coming trial.

To qualify the motion to release, Scott cited Martinez’s lack of criminal history as a primary factor and argued that there was no reason, outside of the initial allegations, to suggest that he would be a danger to the public if released.

Scott clarified that Martinez would be willing to accept a criminal protective order against the mother of his child, given that her, he claimed, gang-affiliated family made threats against Martinez’ life following the allegations.

The defense also mentioned that Martinez turned himself in to authorities following his discovery of the arrest warrant, and maintained that there was no suggestion that he wouldn’t follow through with future court appearances.

Scott concluded his argument with the stipulation that Martinez would agree to GPS ankle monitoring upon his potential release.

DDA Orozco argued that the no-bail hold should be maintained, citing the factual basis of the case as reason enough to keep the defendant in custody.

The prosecuting attorney described the events of March 25, 2021, when an emergency room nurse called the police regarding potential child abuse. Officers at the scene ascertained that the child had significant contusions all over her body, along with several bite marks.

Officers spoke to the mother, who informed them that the defendant had been supervising the baby. She believed that the injuries were caused by the defendant pinching and biting her child, and said that she had observed him striking the child.

The defendant allegedly said things like, “She’s [going to] sleep one way or another,” after striking the baby, and committed acts of domestic violence against the mother as well. Police reports are consistent with descriptions of Martinez verbally threatening her, kicking her, and throwing items at her during their relationship.

The baby’s physician, upon examining her injuries, suggested that the abuse had been going on for quite a long time, considering that some of the wounds were weeks old.

However, Orozco cited that this case was most notable because the defendant allegedly admitted to pinching and biting the child when speaking to the mother, then proceeded to lie about it later.

According to the mother, Martinez instructed her to lie to Child Protective Services to minimize consequences against himself and asked the mother to take responsibility for the abuse.

The defendant then created a new version of the story, in which he claimed that the baby’s injuries were already there when he started caring for her.

DDA Orozco argued, “He demonstrated his need to prioritize his own self-protection, rather than provide treatment to a vulnerable baby,” and showed his “callousness” toward the victim.

The prosecution asked that bail remain as set, concluding, “I don’t believe that ankle monitoring would protect society from this defendant abusing some of the most vulnerable victims in our society.”

The defense offered a brief response to the People’s argument to clarify that the defendant did not admit to the recent allegations, but only to playfully pinching his daughter in the past. Martinez, it seems, did not say that he was directly responsible for the injuries in question.

Judge Marlette appeared conflicted after hearing the presentation of evidence and notably took a few minutes to process his thoughts and look through reports.

After some deliberation, Judge Marlette ordered level six pretrial release for Martinez, with the acknowledgment that certain conditions and additional requirements be met.

Martinez will be subject to GPS ankle monitoring, will not be allowed to have direct or indirect contact with the mother or any of her family members, cannot be in the presence of any child under the age of eighteen, and must stay away from residences of any of the mother’s family members.

Judge Marlette emphasized that the stay-away order “…stretches as far as blood stretches,” and includes spouses of family members.

Martinez was, thus, released from custody and ordered to report back on July 30 for progress on installing the GPS monitoring anklet.

The case is set to come back on Aug. 17 for further proceedings.

About The Author

Allison is a rising senior at UC Davis, majoring in History and Political Science. She is originally from Clovis, CA, and is pursuing a career in civil rights and/or constitutional law.

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