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Northwest North Dakota man found guilty of sexually abusing child

Juan Martinez

WILLISTON, N.D. — A man is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury convicted him Thursday, Feb. 14, of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The verdict came after a four-day trial.

Martinez was arrested in November 2017 and accused of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl. The girl, now 14, testified Wednesday, telling the court that Martinez abused her multiple times in the summer and fall of 2017.

On Thursday morning, Nathan Madden, assistant state's attorney, pointed to the testimony of the girl Martinez is accused of abusing.

"You heard her talk about how ashamed she felt, how dirty she felt," Madden said. "It’s kind of sad, isn’t it, that a 12-year-old felt ashamed because of the actions of a 40-year-old."

William Sand, Martinez's defense attorney, however, argued that the accusation was false and that there was no physical evidence to support the charge. He pointed out that a pelvic examination of the girl came back normal and Martinez's DNA wasn't found on the girl's mattress.

On Wednesday, analysts for the North Dakota State Crime Lab said they found DNA from an unknown man on the girl’s mattress, but not Martinez.