Justice News

Department of Justice
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Friday, January 29, 2010

First Extradition from El Salvador to the United States Brings Salvadoran National Back to Serve Prison Sentence on Texas State Sexual Assault Charges

WASHINGTON - Jose Marvin Martinez, a Salvadoran national, was surrendered to U.S. authorities today in the first extradition from El Salvador to the United States, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Martinez was convicted on March 30, 2006, in Brazoria County, Texas, of one count of sexual assault on a child and one count of indecency with a child. According to the evidence presented at trial, in March 2004 Martinez sexually assaulted his daughter, who was 14-years-old at the time. The day after his conviction, a Texas jury sentenced Martinez to eight years in prison on the sexual assault charge and 10 years of community supervision on the indecency charge. Martinez, who had been free on bond during the trial, fled before the jury began deliberations.

Martinez fled to El Salvador where he was arrested on Jan. 11, 2008, by Salvadoran law enforcement authorities based on a provisional arrest warrant for his extradition. On Dec. 22, 2009, the Supreme Court of El Salvador voted 10 to 5 to extradite Martinez to the United States to serve his sentence for the sexual assault charge. The Salvadoran Supreme Court denied extradition on the indecency with a child conviction because there is no similar Salvadoran offense and it was also not listed in the U.S./El Salvador Bilateral Extradition Treaty.

In July 2000, El Salvador amended its constitution to allow for the extradition of Salvadoran nationals. This case marks the first extradition by El Salvador of a Salvadoran national to the United States in modern times.

"Today’s extradition brings a criminal to justice and paves the way forward in our law enforcement partnership with El Salvador," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. "This first extradition from El Salvador to the United States marks a turning point in our continued efforts to strengthen our joint efforts to hold criminals accountable. The long arm of the law reaches farther with every successful extradition to and from the United States, as we work with our partners around the world to make sure criminals cannot find safe haven from justice."

The extradition announced today is the result of close cooperation between the FBI; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Brazoria County, Texas, Sheriff's Office; the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador and Salvadoran law enforcement authorities. The Department of Justice Attaché in San Salvador and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs were instrumental in achieving this extradition.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014