By Leslie Ortiz
SACRAMENTO, CA – Despite a man’s clean record, Judge Curtis M. Fiorini denied bail to him here in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday in a child abuse case, stating, “I do believe that the defendant poses a danger to the community” after evidence of major bruising on the neck, head, arms, legs, and back of an eight-month-old child was presented.
Deputy District Attorney Quirina Orozco called as a witness Linda Matthews, an officer for the Sacramento Police Dept., who was involved in the child abuse investigation and was able to interview a relative of the victim.
In the relative’s statement, Matthews said the relative was in contact with the suspect Adam Martinez, and asked him what happened.
According to Matthews’ report, Martinez said, “I don’t know. I would just pinch her. I would just bite her. I do it to all my nieces and nephews and nothing happens.”
Matthews added that the relative of the victim noticed that the bruising kept on getting worse and said it looked like there was “bruising on top of bruising on top of bruising.”
On March 26, Officer Matthews came in contact with Martinez through a 911 call made to dispatch. Originally, she was called to the premises for a burglary in progress—the call stated that Martinez’s ex-girlfriend’s family members were threatening to assault him and attempting to enter his house.
When Officer Matthews asked Martinez why he believed they were there, he stated initially that it was because he had hurt the mother’s feelings. However, he later stated that the family members were mad at him for “pinching the baby and causing bruising.”
Judge Fiorini asked if Martinez ever described to her if the pinching was done in a “mean, harmful or playful manner” and Matthews states that she did not ask.
DDA Orozco then brought in Makayla Chitwood, an officer for the Sacramento Police Dept. as another witness. Chitwood was called in to assist in a child abuse investigation, and was able to come in contact with the victim.
Chitwood observed that there was “major bruising to her neck, head, arms, legs” and five circles “on her back, consistent with bite marks.”
A doctor stated to Chitwood that he believed “some of the bruising was new” and “some of the bruising could have been old” and “that the bruising was not consistent with falling from a crib.”
On March 25, 2021, Chitwood spoke to the victim’s mother. According to the mother, she left the victim with Martinez as she slept, then woke up to see bruising on the baby.
The victim’s mother did not report any abuse because she was “afraid of Mr. Martinez and didn’t know what he would do to her if she reported anything.”
The mother indicated to Chitwood that she has seen Martinez pinch the baby, and has seen Martinez smack the baby “on the butt very hard” to make her sleep.
After the witness statements, Judge Fiorini addressed bail for the defendant.
The prosecutor stated that this matter was brought up at court earlier before Judge Patrick Marlette with limited evidence at the time. At a later court date, Orozco received more information that included the images of the child which showed the extent of her injuries.
“I asked for a bail review based on that information,” Orozco said, which was granted by Judge Marlette.
Having received new information, Orozco stated that Judge Marlette determined that there was a sufficient change in circumstances and had the Martinez returned back to custody.
The defense attorney said Judge Marlette allowed Martinez to be “out on zero bail with conditions.” Those conditions included an ankle monitor, GPS tracking, and stay away orders from the victim and her family. And noted Martinez has no record.
The prosecutor followed up by focusing on the seriousness of the case, noting, “Almost every inch of this child’s body has been affected,” and calling the abuse “intimate, and aggressive, and animalistic.”
She argued that someone who inflicts injuries like this shows that “they are unfit to walk the streets of our society,” adding, “In all of the sixteen years that I have prosecuted cases” this is “one of the more egregious ones.”
Ultimately, Judge Fiorini acknowledged that biting and pinching can be perceived in a playful or abusive manner and recognized that there are several issues in regard to credibility of statements that will be testimony at trial.
However, he said, assuming everything brought forward at court was credible, he found that the defendant “poses a substantial danger” and orders that he “be remained detained pending this matter.”
An arraignment will be held on Oct. 18 at 1:30 pm in Dept. 63.