Boys Tell of Molestation by Official at School
Two 15-year-old boys from Virgil Middle School said in court Wednesday that the director of the gang intervention program at their school provided them with drugs, alcohol and pornographic videos, then sexually molested them at his apartment.
Willie Martinez, 41, pleaded not guilty at his earlier arraignment to three counts of oral copulation with a minor and one count of sodomy with a minor.
Martinez is the schools’s director for the L.A. Bridges program, the $11.2-million effort the city launched last fall to reduce gang involvement, strengthen families and improve academic achievement by creating “bridges” to public and private organizations in the city.
At Martinez’s preliminary hearing at the Los Angeles Municipal Court, four teenage boys described parties at the defendant’s Echo Park apartment where adolescents allegedly took drugs, smoked pot and drank alcohol until they passed out.
The teenagers alleged that the incidents occurred between January and June, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Steve Meister.
One of the 15-year-old boys said he moved in with Martinez for a week when his mother threatened to send him back to his native Guatemala. After a night of partying with other L.A. Bridges participants from the school, he said, Martinez took the other boy home and then sodomized him.
Another 15-year-old boy wiped tears from his eyes as he said that Martinez showed him a pornographic movie, had oral sex with him, then took him out for a hamburger before driving him home.
At the end of the preliminary hearing, Martinez was bound over for trial. A trial date will be set at his Superior Court arraignment July 29.
The allegations against Martinez arose during a gang-related homicide investigation, when one of the accusers told detectives that he had been sexually assaulted, Det. Marty Herrera said.
Martinez was arrested June 30 at his apartment, and a search of his home turned up “pornographic materials and narcotics,” Det. Cleo Maria Guevara of the LAPD’s sexually exploited child unit said.