Justice Department Secures Settlement Agreement with State of New York Executive Chamber to Resolve Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Claims Under Title VII
Following an order granting the defendant a new trial on certain charges, in February 2020, the defendant was again convicted of deprivation of civil rights, aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse.
Earlier today, after a two week trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn returned a guilty verdict against Carlos Richard Martinez, a federal correctional officer employed by the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on charges of deprivation of civil rights, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual abuse of a ward. The 20-count indictment covered four sexual assaults by Martinez from December 13, 2015 to April 2016, involving five separate sexual acts. Martinez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison when he is sentenced by United States District Judge Edward R. Korman.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Ronald G. Gardella, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office (OIG), and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the verdict.
“As found by the jury, Carlos Richard Martinez willfully abused his position of power as a federal correctional officer by repeatedly raping a female inmate entrusted to his care at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Martinez exploited the victim’s fear of being punished with additional jail time and other disciplinary action, but his attempts to intimidate the victim into silence ultimately failed as evidenced by her brave testimony at the trial. Martinez has now been held to account for violent, criminal misconduct that will never be tolerated in a correctional institution.”
“Martinez’s conduct was reprehensible. Today’s verdict sends a clear message that no correctional officer is above the law,” stated OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Gardella. “The OIG is fiercely committed to working with its law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute instances of sexual abuse and abuse of power within our federal prison system.”
“While already serving time in prison, Martinez’s victim found herself trapped behind the bars of his abhorrent behavior,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Not only did Martinez engage in an outrageous act of sexual abuse, but he threatened the victim with severe punishment should she reveal his crime. There is only one place in society for those who use positions of power to violate the civil rights of others, especially in cases of outright forcible abuse, and that place is behind bars—not in front of them violating the rights of those they’re charged to watch.”
The evidence at trial established that over a five-month period from December 2015 to April 2016, Martinez, while serving as a lieutenant at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (MDC) with supervisory and disciplinary authority over inmates, used physical force and fear to repeatedly rape a sentenced female prisoner. The victim, who is identified in the indictment as “Jane Doe,” and testified at trial using the name “Maria,” spoke little English and worked as a cleaner inside the prison. Martinez directed Jane Doe and other female prisoners to clean on the second floor of the MDC’s East Building, including the lieutenant’s office. On December 13, 2015, Martinez’s sexually inappropriate remarks to Jane Doe escalated to violent, criminal conduct. While Jane Doe was preparing to clean the lieutenants’ office on that Sunday, Martinez exposed his erect penis, forcibly grabbed Jane Doe by the back of her head and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Then Martinez pulled down Jane Doe’s pants and underwear and raped her. Jane Doe expressed concern that she might become pregnant and begged Martinez to give her an emergency contraceptive pill, which he purchased at Rite Aid store near his home in Brooklyn. Martinez warned Jane Doe that she would be placed in the Special Housing Unit (SHU), and receive additional jail time to serve, if she told anyone what he had done. In the ensuing months, Martinez repeatedly raped Jane Doe while she cleaned on the weekend, when the lieutenants’ office area of the second floor of the MDC is generally empty. Jane Doe testified that during the attacks in his office, Martinez monitored security video footage on his computer of the area surrounding the lieutenants’ office to make sure that no one would discover him sexually assaulting her.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole M. Argentieri and Nadia I. Shihata are in charge of the prosecution.
CARLOS RICHARD MARTINEZ
Residence: Brooklyn, New York,
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-281 (ERK)
United States Attorney’s Office