A gay man who is falsely imprisoned for indecency of a child, sits in the Dolph Briscoe Prison Unit in Dilley, Texas today trying to prove his innocence through DNA lab tested results conducted by the Department of Public Safety.
Fred Guerra Martinez, 47, tells the Crónica he was accused by a drunk woman while visiting a Port Aransas, Texas beach in the summer of 2014. It was late in the evening, when Fred and his family visiting Port Aransas from San Antonio were having a good time enjoying the beach. Martinez’s life would soon change for the worse when a lady walking by his families campsite that evening. Fred Martinez recalls that day filled with laughter and joy. The lady, Sara Soto, met and hung out with Fred, his boyfriend, and family drinking alcohol until 4 a.m.
It was until Sara Soto began to try to make a romantic pass to Fred Martinez that morning and Fred warned Sara that he was gay and was happily in a relationship with his boyfriend. A verbal confrontation ensued and Sara went back to her campsite several campsites away.
When Sara Soto returned back to her own campsite, she found that her 12 year old son had been sexually molested while alone by a man on the beach. Semen was found inside of the child’s pants and Sara Soto called Port Aransas Police Department. Sara then accused Fred Martinez of the sexual assault of her child.
The Port Aransas Police detained Fred Martinez and his boyfriend for DNA testing due to the accusations. Police then conducted a line-up of the two to be identified by the 12 year old child. The child was unable to identify the predator and although Sara Soto wasn’t a witness of the crime, she accused Fred Martinez of the crime due to his sexuality preference of being gay.
With just an accusation by Sara Soto and no physical evidence, police arrested Fred Martinez for Indecency With A Child and he was booked into the Nueces County Jail. During the interrogation, Fred Martinez says he was mistreated and was assaulted by the arresting officers during questioning.
Attorney Clay Bonilla and Plea Deal
During the court proceedings of the case, Fred Martinez and his family retained counsel from Clay Bonilla and the Bonilla Law Firm located in Corpus Christi, Texas. Attorney Clay Bonilla advised Fred Martinez that the DNA results from the Texas Crime Lab came back and that he results were ‘inconclusive’ and that the best thing for Fred Martinez to do is take a plea deal to avoid going to trial. Martinez goes on and says that Clay Bonilla advised him that a jury wouldn’t find sympathy for a gay Hispanic man over a White child and he needed to take a plea deal for probation. In return, Martinez would be released from the Nueces Count jail and could get back to taking care of his mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer rather sitting for a minimum of 18 months in jail waiting for a jury trial.
Fred Martinez says that his attorney Clay Bonilla also advised him he would help Fred overturn the conviction in the future. Fred Martinez sacrificed his reputation and put his life on the line to be released from jail that day by confessing to the indecency with a child charges. Fred Martinez was relieved momentarilly to return back home to take care of his cancer diagnosed mother in San Antonio, Texas.
During this time, Clay Bonilla’s father, David Bonilla, was also being tried for stealing more than $500,000 from 37 different people who used the Bonilla Law Firm for legal services in Nueces County.
Judge Sandra Watts and the 12 Year Prison Sentence
Following the release of Fred Martinez in early January 2015 it was only a matter of time Fred would be back in the Nueces County Jail. 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts placed strict probation conditions after Fred’s confession to the crime, including not being allowed to access the internet for 10 years, not having the right to appeal the courts decision, and having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
One year later, in March of 2016, Fred Martinez’s probation was revoked after many random searches of his cell phone. The cell phone had two applications downloaded from the Play Store. Since the apps needed the ‘internet’ to power itself, the probation officer filed documents and pictures of them in court to have Fred re-arrested for violation of probation. On March 23, 2016 Fred Martinez was ordered to serve 12 years in prison for two counts of indecency of a child to run concurrent. According to legal documents provided by the Nueces County Clerks Office, two seperate charges from the same incident were filed, tried, and given convictions for.
DNA Lab Test Results Proves Innocence
Four months after Fred Martinez was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t do, although after pleading guilty in court to be released without sitting in jail awaiting trial, Fred requested the documents from the Texas Crime Lab while in prison.
The DNA lab results that Fred’s attorney said were “inconclusive” turned out to be a different story. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Crime Labratory report, Fred Martinez’s clothing had no DNA from the 12 year old victim and the semen found inside the victims pants exclude Fred Martinez’s DNA profile.
The report was prepared and certified by Cynthia Morales, the forensic scientist at the Corpus Christi Texas DPS Crime Labratory Facility.
Re-Trial and Appeal Denied
With clear DNA lab test results that Fred Martinez’s specimen wasn’t found on the victims clothing, and no other physical evidence to conclude that Fred Martinez was the perpetrator of this crime he continues to be denied an appeal and re-trial. The only testimony the Nueces County District Attorneys Office has is the accusation of the mother of the 12 year old victim, who says Fred was the only gay man around the campsite.
Fred Martinez’s sister, has been by his side throughout his incarceration and she has hired several attorneys who filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus to bring the newly discovered evidence to court, but every time a new attorney does, Fred’s sister says someone takes out the evidence causing nothing to move forward in the court system because there is no newly discovered evidence required by law.
DO YOU BELIEVE FRED MARTINEZ IS INNOCENT?
This is a developing story and the Crónica will keep you updated on this investigative series as we continue to unlock the truth on why Fred Martinez is still behind bars.