Jason Martinez, 50, was a deputy superintendent at Albuquerque Public Schools for about two months when last week, he suddenly resigned. The reason quickly became clear — Martinez was wanted in Colorado on six disturbing felony charges that he sexually assaulted a teenage boy.
Now, New Mexico’s attorney general says he plans to investigate how Martinez could have slipped past the school district’s “safety protocols,” and local parents are calling for the ouster of Albuquerque School Superintendent Luis Valentino, who they say was told that Martinez was stonewalling on his required background check — a step supposed to be necessary before and public school hiring — but went ahead and signed on Martinez anyway.
According to a report on Albuquerque’s KOB-TV last Friday, the report that broke the story of the charges against Martinez, the now-former school administrator, is not only accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting teenage boys, one under the age of 15 between May of 2012 and June of 2013, and another between the ages of 15 and 18.
Reports do not make clear whether the charges involve one victim, who exceeded the age of 15 during the time Martinez was allegedly molesting him regularly, or whether he attacked two separate victims.
The victim, KOB reported, told police that Martinez was in the habit of “touching people,” and that he would watch the boy shower, then rub lotion on him when he got out. He also said that Martinez, in a Las Vegas motel room, forced the boy to touch himself in his “private spot,” and to rub more lotion onto his genital area.
But Martinez also faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, a charge that dates only from January of this year. He was also arrested after he failed to appear for a court date.
“I was surprised to learn of these charges and certainly would never have offered Mr. Martinez employment with the district if I had known,” Valentino said after the KOB-TV report. “I regret that decision.”
Valentino hired Martinez in June, at what was supposed to have been an annual salary of $160,000. Martinez quit last Thursday due to what he said at the time were “family commitments,” but the revelation of the sex abuse charges against him hit the airwaves the next day.
The Albuquerque School Board held a five-hour emergency closed-door meeting in Sunday, possibly to contemplate what to do about Valentino who is accused of simply ignoring the refusal by Martinez to submit to a legally required background check — one that certainly would have revealed the shocking sex abuse charges.
“We made a sign that says fire all the frauds, pedophiles and co-conspirators at APS,” said one parent who joined a demonstration outside of the school board meeting Sunday.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Monday that he will conduct a “safety assessment” to figure out how Jason Martinez, an accused multiple child sex offender, was hired by the state’s largest school district.
[Image: KOB-TV Screen Grab]