BELIZE CITY, Tues. Dec. 17, 2019– A nine-member jury deliberated in the Supreme Court of Justice Colin Williams for 2 hours and 23 minutes before returning to the courtroom to announce a guilty verdict in the trial of Constable Darren Martinez, 24.
At the trial, the Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Riis Cattouse, while the interdicted cop was represented by attorney Oswald Twist.
The trial, which began yesterday, Monday, December 16, concluded late this afternoon with the jury’s unanimous guilty verdict.
PC Martinez was indicted on a single count of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16, by penetration.
Martinez, on February 21, 2016, committed the sexual assault by putting his finger in the private area of the child, who was only eight years old at the time the incident occurred.
At the trial, both the victim and her mother testified.
Late this evening, Justice Colin Williams summed up the evidence that the Crown had led against the accused police officer.
Upon the jury’s return with the guilty verdict, Martinez’s attorney, Twist, asked the court to consider granting his client bail until his sentencing date on January 28, 2020.
Crown Counsel Cattouse, however, objected to granting Martinez bail on the ground that the offense is a serious offense and it carries a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.
Justice Williams remanded PC Martinez to the Belize Central Prison until January 28, 2020, when the court will convene for a mitigation hearing, before a sentence is passed on the convict.
This is PC Martinez’s second criminal offense for which he has faced charges in court.
On Monday, October 1, 2018, he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of wounding upon Vanessa Portillo.