Summit County child predator sentenced to 10 years in prison
BRECKENRIDGE — Hector Reyes-Martinez was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a child during an emotional hearing at the Summit County Justice Center on Monday afternoon.
Reyes-Martinez, 34, was arrested in January after an investigation by the Dillon Police Department revealed a pattern of sexual assault over the past several years.
Detectives began investigating the case in December after a forensic nurse examiner at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco reported a child was in the emergency room for a sexual assault examination.
During a series of interviews at the Treetop Child Advocacy Center and subsequent follow up conversations, police discovered that Reyes-Martinez assaulted multiple children from about 2013 to 2018, according to police reports. He was arrested and charged with felony counts of sexual assault on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor among others charges.
In late June, Reyes-Martinez accepted a plea agreement admitting to sexual exploitation of a child, a class 3 felony. At the sentencing hearing Monday, prosecutor Jake Lilly said the only reason a plea agreement was on the table in the first place was to protect the victims from having to relive at trial their traumatizing experiences. Lilly continued to slam Reyes-Martinez for a continuous lack of accountability for his actions.
“Even today, and throughout this (pre-sentence investigation) he’s continued to argue the fantasy that he didn’t quite do this,” Lilly said. At the hearing, Reyes-Martinez admitted to touching the named victim in the case though continued to deny other details. “There were years of touching, years of abuse, and years of terror from the threats and emotional manipulation. Even today, he’s trying to minimize it.”
In addition to Lilly, two others also spoke on behalf of the prosecution, including a victim and the mother of a victim. The mother spoke first, offering a statement about the emotional impacts the assaults have had on her child — including frequent anxiety and panic attacks — before eventually offering Reyes-Martinez her forgiveness.
“It’s hard for (them) to accept love and happiness,” she said. “(They) feel it’s their fault everything has changed in their life … and I just want to tell you I also forgive you because I am not God. God is the one who will judge all our sins throughout life.”
Kevin Jensen, Reyes-Martinez’s attorney, also spoke on his client’s behalf arguing that his behavior was in part driven by his own childhood victimization and lack of formal education and that a probationary sentence would be more suitable to allow Reyes-Martinez to seek treatment.
“We would simply ask to try and give Mr. Reyes-Martinez the tools to deal with his past issues and formulate a plan so he can continue in the future,” Jensen said.
Finally, Reyes-Martinez spoke for himself with the help of a court translator, asking only for some form of forgiveness from the court and the victims.
“I’m asking God for forgiveness a thousand times,” Reyes-Martinez said. “And now I’m asking (the victims) for forgiveness and you. I ask you for a new opportunity.”
Chief Judge Mark Thompson lauded the victims for their strength in speaking out before turning to the defendant. Thompson said any mitigating factors in the case were far outweighed by the aggravating factors — including the ages of the children and the drawn-out nature of the assaults.
Ultimately Thompson sentenced Reyes-Martinez to 10 years in prison on top of a three-year parole period. Reyes-Martinez was given credit for 198 days served.
“Your offense occurred over an extended period, included multiple victims and was intentional,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t the result of intoxication or a one-time misbehavior. It was persistent, categorically wrong, and you knew it. … The acts you completed that led to this were monstrous. This will put an end to that cycle, and I hope over the next several years you have time to think and learn and do the right thing in the future.”
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