Multnomah Co. sheriff, ICE address criminal and deportation hist - KPTV - FOX 12

Multnomah Co. sheriff, ICE address criminal and deportation history of sex abuse suspect

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Sergio Jose Martinez in court last week. (KPTV) Sergio Jose Martinez in court last week. (KPTV)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Multnomah County sheriff have released statements addressing the numerous arrests and deportations of a Portland sex abuse suspect.

Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, was arrested last week. He is accused of breaking into a 65-year-old woman’s home, tying her up, sexually assaulting her and stealing her car before threatening to kill and attacking another woman in a parking garage later in the day.

Police said Martinez was treated for meth-induced psychosis prior to being booked in jail.

Court documents state Martinez has a long criminal history and has been deported to Mexico numerous times, only to repeatedly reenter the U.S.

ICE released a statement about Martinez, calling him a “serial immigration violator who has been removed from the United States no less than 13 times since 2008.”

ICE reported lodging an immigration detainer against Martinez, requesting law enforcement agencies notify ICE prior to his release from local custody, so that he could be taken into ICE custody.

ICE last had contact with Martinez at the Multnomah County Jail in December 2016. Ice reported that, “despite the detainer, local authorities released Mr. Martinez back into the community the following day without providing any notification to ICE.”

Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese addressed the issue with a statement Monday, saying, “This terrible incident is concerning for everyone.”

Reese said ICE “had not sent a criminal warrant, signed by a judge, allowing MCSO to hold the defendant in jail. Instead, they processed a civil detainer, which they know cannot be legally used in Oregon.”

Reese acknowledge that Martinez had been booked into the county jail nine times since 2008, having most recently been released just one week before his most recent arrest.  

He had served 31 days in custody prior to his latest release and had no federal or state criminal warrants at the time of his release, according to Reese.

Reese said members of the sheriff’s office have previously met with the U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon and local ICE officials to discuss the need for a criminal warrant to hold suspects in situations like this one.

“Federal and state law prohibit Oregon Sheriffs' Offices from holding anyone based solely on an immigration detainer,” Reese said.

“ICE officials have the ability to ask for a criminal warrant, signed by a federal judge, to keep defendants in custody,” Reese continued. “If this were to happen, sheriffs in Oregon would cooperate with the federal criminal warrant until the charges were properly adjudicated. No such warrant was placed on this defendant prior to his release.”

Martinez was arraigned last week on charges including assault, kidnapping, burglary, sex abuse, robbery and unauthorized use of a vehicle. His bail was set at $2.3 million.

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