Republic PD arrests man accused of sex crimes

Steve Chapman

Edward Martinez

Allegations against suspect date back 25 years, in two states, involving young girls
A Springfield man who was arrested by Republic police officers is accused of sodomizing two underage girls. Edward Martinez, 50, is charged with two counts of statutory sodomy. He was booked into the Greene County Jail on Thursday, Aug. 26.
Investigation begins after incident
According to the probable cause statement in the case, dated Aug. 19, Republic police began investigating Martinez after an incident that took place at a house in Republic where he was staying with a woman identified as MD, her son, a boy under the age of 12, and MD’s two granddaughters, one of whom was a girl under the age of 10, and the other a girl under the age of five, both of whom MD took guardianship of in the fall of 2020.
The boy told the investigator that he was on the top bunk in his room while Martinez and the older girl were lying on the bottom bunk watching a movie. The boy said Martinez conducted a sexual act on the girl before going into MDs room for the night. According to the probable cause statement, the girl disclosed at this point that Martinez had done the same thing to her little sister. During his interview, the boy also told the investigator that Martinez would buy gifts for the girls, though not for him, and that he also asked one of the girls if her friends could come over to swim with them, and it would make “them both feel uneasy.”
MD told the investigator that Martinez was a friend of hers, and that she had known him for seven to eight years. She also said she and Martinez had dated for a year at one point and had also lived with her for a few months at one time. The probable cause statement said that it is unknown how he knew MD was taking care of the girls, but stated that Martinez was friends with the girls’ father.
Martinez had extensive access to the girls
According to the probable cause statement, Martinez was living in Waynesville when MD took guardianship of the girls, but he expressed a desire to help her with their care not long after she became their guardian. He would participate in family events on a regular basis and would request permission to stay the night; sometimes he was permitted to do so.
He also took the girls with him to Waynesville multiple times. MD said she thought it would be okay since he lived with a woman who was a social worker (due to redactions in the probable cause statement, it was unclear what Martinez’s relationship was with the woman). However, in the probable cause statement, it was reported that the woman was never at the house when Martinez had the girls there. It was also reported that Martinez would bathe one of the girls and possibly sleep in the same bed with her.
Abuse described
During her child advocacy interview, one of the girls stated she was very uncomfortable and repeatedly asked to see her grandmother; she did not disclose any abuse.
The other girl, however, was able to speak extensively during her interview. She described in detail the sexual act with Martinez. She said her sister told her about Martinez doing the same to her, and also said two of her friends told her Martinez had done things to them.
Martinez arrested
Martinez turned himself at the Republic Police Department on Aug. 26. According to the probable cause statement, he refused to speak to the investigator. When the investigator spoke of a bond being placed on him, Martinez said he would be able to bond out, whatever the bond was, and stay close. He also made a comment about being out of the jail in 24 hours.
Past accusers come forward
According to the probable cause statement, while researching Martinez’s past, the investigator was able to make contact with six women who claimed Martinez sexually abused them when they were children; their ages ranged between five and 13 at the times they said Martinez abused them. Five of them said they would cooperate in the current investigation.
In three of the cases, prosecutors did not pick up charges against Martinez, one case was marked with the status of “closed,” one case did not make it past preliminary trial and in the remaining case, Martinez was acquitted.
One of the victims said she recanted her accusation against Martinez because of her mother “promising her the world and telling her that everything would be taken if she didn’t recant.” Another victim recalled her mother supporting Martinez over her.
Continued contact
In the probable cause statement, the investigator reported that MD said that Martinez had started contacting her in July, “trying to prove his innocence and (telling) her how much he wished he could be there to help her out.” MD said Martinez also sent her a document from the Greene County Circuit Clerk stating he had not been convicted of any statutory sodomy charge and had been approved to be a substitute teacher for children. The investigator also stated that Martinez had been able to maintain daily contact with MD to the point he was able to be around her granddaughters at an amusement park in Branson.
The latest
Martinez was arraigned on Monday, Aug. 30, and pleaded not guilty to the two counts of statutory sodomy. He is next due in court on Friday, Sept. 10, for a bond hearing. As of press time, he remained in the Greene County Jail.
Republic Chief Sells praises detective work
Brian Sells, chief of the Republic Police Department, praised the work of Detective James Stephenson, who conducted the investigation.
“Republic Police arrested the individual following an investigation by Detective Stephenson,” Sells said. “Allegations of the suspect sexually abusing kids dates back 25 years and in two different states. Detective Stephenson worked with the multi-district team and conducted a thorough investigation and was able to present evidence as well as incident allegations so the Green County Prosecutors Office could file charges.”
With Martinez arrested, Sells added, the Republic community is rid of a threat against children.
“We recognize that crimes against children affect the community in a profound way,” he said. “By making an arrest and having formal charges filed, it makes our community a safer


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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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