Arrested Oklahoma City officer's house accessed despite police guard

Someone who apparently had a key to a locked part of an arrested Oklahoma City police officer's house gained access to the residence overnight Thursday despite a patrol officer posted outside to keep watch, police said.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Modified: January 25, 2011 at 9:43 am •  Published: January 25, 2011
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Someone sneaked into the home of a police officer facing child sex abuse complaints and got into a locked room that authorities hadn't searched.

It's not clear what, if anything, was taken from the room of Sgt. Maurice Martinez's house while a patrol officer was posted outside the residence, police Capt. Patrick Stewart said. The person apparently had a key to the room.

Martinez was arrested Wednesday. Investigators were searching his house in south Oklahoma City Thursday when they encountered a dead-bolted door inside.

Rather than break down the door, they took a break for the night. When they resumed the search Friday, the door was found unlocked.

Defense attorney Irven Box said Martinez has no idea who got into the house.

Martinez, 44, was arrested after a 16-year-old boy said Martinez sexually abused him. He has not been charged and remains on paid administrative leave. He was released on bail from the Oklahoma County jail.

Box said he would not allow Martinez to speak with the media and referred questions for Martinez and his family to Martinez's sister, Nicole Barkalow.

“It's unbelievable,” said Barkalow, 34, of Choctaw. “I know that these allegations are completely untrue.”

Box said he is puzzled about why Martinez was arrested.

Continuing the search

Officers began searching his residence on S Anderson Road on Thursday after a judge signed a search warrant, Stewart said. A patrol officer was assigned to keep watch overnight after investigators left for the day because one of the exterior doors could not be locked. Police intended to resume the search Friday after getting a locksmith to unlock the dead-bolted interior door.

Investigators chose not to break down the door because they wanted to prevent damage, Stewart said. He said the search would have continued Friday regardless of whether they were able to access the locked portion of the house.

The house is surrounded by woods and can only be accessed by a vehicle through the driveway and parking area where the patrol officer kept watch, Stewart said.

“Apparently we didn't have adequate resources out there to cover all sides of that residence,” Stewart said. “Overnight ... someone navigated through the woods and came in through the back of the residence through that unlocked door, and used what we believe to be a key to open the interior door that was dead-bolted shut.”

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Sister of arrested officer says he's innocent, devastated

The sister of the Oklahoma City police officer arrested on sexual abuse complaints said her bother is innocent, but the family fears he never will be able to recover personally and professionally even if he is exonerated.

Police Sgt. Maurice Martinez has not spoken publicly since his arrest Wednesday on complaints of lewd acts with a child younger than 16 and forcible sodomy, and defense attorney Irven Box said he won't allow Martinez to speak with the media. He referred questions for the family to Martinez's sister, Nicole Barkalow.

“It's unbelievable,” Barkalow, 34, of Choctaw, said of the allegations against Martinez, who has cared for about 60 foster children in the past 10 years. “All of the kids that he has taken care of, they're extremely upset. They're distraught.”

Martinez is devastated by the allegations, Barkalow said.

“This has not only ruined his reputation, it's definitely ruined his career,” Barkalow said. “How do you go back after this? Your face has been plastered all over the media outlets.”

MICHAEL KIMBALL, STAFF WRITER

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