Evansville Man Gets 8-12 Years for Beating, Sexually Assaulting Wife
A Casper man who allegedly beat his then-wife repeatedly over the course of some 14 years was sentenced to a term of imprisonment Thursday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Joseph Fredrico Martinez, 37, will serve an 8- to 12-year prison term for sexual assault in the second degree, as well as a concurrent 8- to 10-year term for aggravated assault and battery against a pregnant woman.
Court documents say Evansville police officers met with the victim roughly three and a half years ago. She told police that Martinez assaulted her in November 2013 and had been ordered to move out. A no-contact order had been put in place after Martinez put a pillow over the victim's face and punched her repeatedly.
Despite the no-contact order, the victim had to speak with Martinez frequently, as they have children together. The conversations had not been problematic until recently, the victim said.
She told police that on April 23, 2014, she was showering in her home when Martinez broke in and raped her. She explained that she did not report the rape immediately because she was scared and embarrassed.
The victim also said she felt that if she reported things to the police, Martinez would kill her, as he had threatened to do so in the past.
She went on to say that Martinez had also raped her on April 10, 2014, again breaking into her home.
On August 3, 2014, police were dispatched to the victim's home in Evansville for a report of a disturbance. The victim told officers that Martinez had again broken into her home and sexually assaulted her, covering her mouth so she could not scream.
She said she had been in her bathroom at about 10 a.m. that morning, when Martinez appeared behind her. He pleaded with the victim to "take him back" and said he was sorry. The victim repeatedly asked him to leave.
Martinez reportedly said he didn't care about the law, and then asked the children to leave the upstairs part of the house. Martinez tried to kiss the victim, and she kept pulling away before biting his lip.
Martinez then got on top of the victim and sexually assaulted her. At one point, their daughter looked into the bedroom, and the victim asked the daughter to go to their aunt's house for help. Martinez got up and told the kids not to go, because he was leaving.
The victim got up and started yelling at Martinez about how he needed help, and Martinez got back on top of her and put his hand over her mouth. She was able to get one scream out.
Martinez eventually started to worry about police showing up, so he left. Police arrived shortly thereafter.
On May 25, 2016, court documents say a detective interviewed the victim about an attack by Martinez while the victim was pregnant. The victim said she had been in an argument with Martinez in the spring of 2007, and woke up with his hands around her throat after Martinez strangled her into unconsciousness.
A relative of the victim told the detective that Martinez drank too much. She recalled seeing finger marks around the victim's neck during one of the victim's pregnancies, and the victim told her that Martinez had strangled her.
The relative told several family members about the strangulation, but didn't report it to police. She expressed regret for not doing so.
"How do you explain fourteen years of abuse?" the victim asked rhetorically during her statement to the court on Thursday.
"He's only being charged with one of those," the victim said, referring to incidents in which Martinez sexually assaulted her. "He actually raped me four times."
"The first time he raped me, he used a gun. He put that gun inside of me," she continued. During a separate assault, the victim's children were outside the door, she said. They entered the room and found Martinez on top of her.
The victim said her children have been through counseling in the past four years, and have overcome a great deal.
"But the scars...will remain with us forever," she emphasized.
"These weren't isolated incidents," the victim explained. "It's a very strong pattern of abuse throughout fourteen years."
"The hardest part is that I wasn't raped by just some angry person on the street," she continued. "I was raped by the man that I loved. He was supposed to protect me."
Martinez declined his opportunity to speak before being sentenced.
Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking, after sentencing Martinez, praised the victim for her poise and grace in detailing the impacts of Martinez's crimes.
"I can't imagine standing up in front of a courtroom full of people and sharing what you shared," Wilking said. She added that she found it compelling that, despite the crimes, the victim still wished good things for Martinez in her written victim impact statement.