Steamboat man pleads not guilty to 41 felonies, including 10 for sexual assault | SummitDaily.com

Steamboat man pleads not guilty to 41 felonies, including 10 for sexual assault

Matt Stensland Steamboat Today

Miguel Diaz-Martinez

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A lengthy trial has been scheduled for the Steamboat Springs man charged with 41 felonies related to accusations that he exchanged drugs for sex with underage girls.

The trial for Miguel Diaz-Martinez is scheduled to begin Sept. 18 and last 15 days. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday, April 26, during his arraignment.

District Attorney Brett Barkey requested 15 days for the trial due to the number of charges, the number of victims, the need for an interpreter and the amount of media attention the case has received.

“I think jury selection in this case may take extra long,” Judge Shelley Hill said.

By taking the case to trial, Diaz-Martinez hopes to beat the plea deal that had been offered by the District Attorney’s Office. The deal could have meant the 60-year-old would spend 18.2 years in prison. The agreed-upon sentence would be 52 years.

“Part of our understanding, in coming to that number of years, is by statute, any inmate is entitled to good time calculations, which cuts that sentence in half to establish their parole eligibility date,” Barkey said during a Jan. 26 hearing at which he disclosed the plea offer. “An inmate is also entitled to 30 percent off of that date for what’s called earned time.”

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The result would be 18.2 years if Diaz-Martinez is able to earn all the time off his sentence, Barkey said.

Diaz-Martinez has been charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual assault. Felony charges include 10 counts of felony sexual assault, seven counts of patronizing a prostituted child, seven counts of inducement of child prostitution, seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one count of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse, six counts of trafficking for sexual servitude and two counts of human trafficking for sexual servitude.

If found guilty of all the charges, Diaz-Martinez could be sentenced to more than 500 years in prison.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@steamboattoday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.