Judge: 192 years to life for sex assaults

Nerio Martinez

A man convicted at trial on 65 sex-assault-related felonies involving teenage girls was sentenced Monday to serve 192 years to life in prison.

Nerio “Ned” Martinez, 37, of Grand Junction, faced even more time under a combination of sentencing schemes allowed under Colorado law that were available to District Judge Thomas Deister.

Enhancing the prison time was Deister’s ruling that Martinez is a habitual criminal, with five unrelated felony convictions stemming from arrests from 1995 to 1997.

“You and I go way back,” the judge told Martinez, while Deister noted his prior years as a prosecutor and county court judge, and that he handled several juvenile and misdemeanor cases involving Martinez.

Martinez declined to speak before hearing his sentence.

He was convicted in May by a Mesa County jury on 65 counts, including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and sexual assault on a child as a pattern of abuse. Prosecutors argued Martinez sexually assaulted three teenage girls, ages 11 to 14 at the time of the incidents, a total of 17 times over several years.

“There was evidence at trial these assaults happened on numerous occasions beyond that,” Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle said, adding victims described “routinely” being assaulted by Martinez.

Martinez has prior felony convictions for driving with a revoked license as a habitual traffic offender, possession of methamphetamine, theft, burglary and vehicular eluding.

Martinez in August 1998 was sentenced to nine years in prison. It wasn’t immediately clear Monday how much of that time he actually served.

Martinez successfully finished parole, married and started his own family in Grand Junction before his victims came forward with their allegations in June 2009.

He was arrested the next month.


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