JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a judge sentenced a Downers Grove man to two years in prison for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old Naperville girl he had met in an Internet chat room.
Juan Martinez Jr., 25, of the 1100 block of Candlewood Drive, Downers Grove, was convicted in August on one count of indecent solicitation of a child. As part of his sentence on the Class 3 felony, Martinez must register as a sex offender for the next decade.
Martinez began trading text messages with the girl over his cellular telephone in early May of 2004. On the night of May 9, 2004, a week after the two began communicating via text message, Martinez met the girl in front of her Naperville house and then drove her to an industrial park where they had sex in the back seat of his car.
The girl’s mother learned that Martinez, who was 23 at the time, had had sex with her teen-age daughter when she discovered their text messages. Naperville Detective Richard Wistocki investigated the allegations after the victim’s mother contacted police.
Martinez admitted he had sex with the victim. But he testified during the trial that the victim lied about her age and told him she was 17.
The victim testified she first told Martinez she was 15, which still is under the age of consent. She testified she finally told Martinez she was 14 after their sexual encounter.
The jury acquitted Martinez on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Those two charges alleged Martinez knowingly had sex with a minor under the age of 17. But jurors convicted him on the solicitation charge based upon sexually charged text messages he exchanged with the girl after she had acknowledged her true age.
During the sentencing hearing, Assistant State’s Attorneys John Connor and Alyson DeBell presented testimony from two other young women who testified that Martinez had sexually assaulted both of them at a party in Downers Grove in 2001. The two women, who were 19 at the time, reported the allegations to Downers Grove police, but charges were never filed.
Will County Associate Judge Robert Livas was troubled that Martinez did not acknowledge the victim in this case when the defendant addressed the court during the sentencing hearing. Before handing down the sentence, the judge stated that Martinez, in refusing to acknowledge his crime, was “in a perpetual state of denial.”
Glasgow praised Connor and DeBell for presenting evidence clearly and securing a felony conviction and a prison sentence. He also credited Detective Wistocki for conducting an aggressive investigation that brought Martinez to justice.