A former deputy sheriff in New Mexico has been arrested and federally charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman.
A criminal complaint reviewed by CBS News alleged that Michael Andrew Martinez, 33, was working in his official capacity with the Doña Ana Sheriff's Office when he kidnapped and assaulted the unidentified woman.
According to the complaint, Martinez was responding to a car crash on April 30, where a vehicle had struck a tree. Two women were present, including the victim, who had been driving the vehicle. Martinez detained the woman for driving under the influence and careless driving. When breath tested at the sheriff's office, she only had a blood alcohol level of 0.04, half the legal limit. A second sample was "insufficient," according to the complaint. Martinez then placed the woman, who was handcuffed, into his vehicle to take her to a local medical center to obtain medical clearance. After that, the woman was taken to the Doña Ana County Detention Center and booked. The report did not say what charges the woman was booked on.
On May 2, 2023, Martinez called the sheriff's office and reported a claim of criminal damage on his property. Martinez claimed that his official vehicle had been broken into and damaged, with the unit's DVR system and other technology destroyed or damaged. The vehicle was then brought to the sheriff's office so officials could attempt to recover data in the DVR system to see if there was any evidence of the alleged robbery.
The investigation found that there had been no forced entry into the vehicle. One recovered video showed the woman sexually assaulted while handcuffed in the vehicle before she and Martinez arrived at the Doña Ana County Detention Center. Other recorded data showed that Martinez was the person who had damaged the vehicle and DVR system. Shortly after the videos were recovered, Martinez was fired.
"Based on my training and experience, I believe Martinez, while on duty, engaged in prohibited conduct when he kidnapped and sexually assaulted the Victim. Martinez created a threatening and unreasonable situation by placing the Victim inside a secured area within his marked unit," wrote Armida Macmanus, a special agent at the FBI who wrote the complaint. "Martinez displayed his issued uniform, firearm, and badge, while sexually assaulting the Victim, who was restrained with handcuffs and a seatbelt ... Martinez also corruptly intended to destroy evidence of his sexual assault."
Martinez made his first appearance in federal court on Thursday, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. He has been charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and obstruction of justice.
If convicted, Martinez faces up to life in prison.
The Department of Justice release noted that Martinez had previously been employed by the New Mexico State Police and Hatch Police Department, and asked that anyone with reason to believe they or someone they know may be a victim of Martinez contact the FBI.
for more features.