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Officer accused of sexually abusing children resigns

An Oklahoma City police sergeant accused of molesting foster and adopted children in his care resigned Tuesday. Sgt. Maurice Martinez faces 37 criminal charges including multiple counts of sexual abuse of a child.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: July 27, 2011

An Oklahoma City police sergeant accused of molesting foster and adopted children in his care resigned Tuesday, saying through his attorneys that he doesn't think it's right that he get paid while he is unable to work.

Maurice Martinez's resignation letter is effective as of Sunday. Martinez is being held at the Oklahoma County jail without bail. He is charged with 37 criminal counts including threatening a witness, harboring a runaway juvenile, possession of child pornography and multiple charges of sexual abuse of a child.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 22.

Martinez has been on administrative leave since he was arrested in January, continuing to be paid even though he is effectively suspended from duty.

Martinez's attorneys submitted his resignation letter Tuesday afternoon at police headquarters. Afterward, they explained why he resigned.

“Sgt. Martinez maintains that he is innocent of all the charges against him but believes it would be unfair to the citizens to have to pay him his salary until he finally gets his opportunity to prove his innocence in a court of law,” Attorney Pat Crawley said. “Right now he feels frustrated and odd that he is getting paid and he can't do his job.”

Martinez might have lost his job soon anyway. He was involved in an internal police disciplinary process separate from the criminal case against him. Oklahoma City police said Martinez had been notified of an administrative hearing where the case would be heard and he could defend himself.

After that hearing, it would have been left to Chief Bill Citty whether to fire Martinez.

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