DOÑA ANA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Federal prosecutors have arrested former Doña Ana County Deputy Sheriff Michael Andrew Martinez. They have accused him of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an unnamed victim.
Because Martinez reportedly committed the crimes in April, 2023, while working for the sheriff’s office, he faces federal civil rights and obstruction of justice charges. Prosecutors claim Martinez tried to destroy evidence of the crime.
According to a complaint filed in federal court by an Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, a sheriff’s office report of the incident says that Martinez responded to a car crash and detained the driver under suspicion that she had been drinking and driving carelessly. Martinez reportedly took her to get a medical check and eventually booked her at the county detention center.
Later, Martinez told others at the sheriff’s office that his patrol car had been robbed or damaged. When a sergeant looked through the patrol car, the vehicle’s DVR video recording system and radio were damaged. But further investigation revealed no evidence of forced entry into the car, the FBI agent claims.
The DVR’s memory was recovered and allegedly revealed a video of Martinez sexually assaulting the handcuffed woman in the patrol car. The court documents say Martinez was fired in August, following the incident. He was hired with the department last November as a later hire.
Now, Martinez has been arrested. The arrest doesn’t prove Martinez’s guilt. He is considered innocent until proven otherwise. But if convicted, he could face life in prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Prosecutors are not ruling out the possibility that there may be other victims. They say Martinez has previously worked with State Police and Hatch Police. If you think you or someone you know has been victimized by Martinez, you can call the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (505)-889-1300. You can also submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office for comment. They did not answer their phone during normal business hours.