An Oklahoma City police officer, who was honored as a top foster parent, was arrested Wednesday on child sex abuse complaints.
Sgt. Maurice Anthony Martinez, 44, was arrested on complaints of lewd acts with a child younger than 16 and forcible sodomy, police spokesman Capt. Patrick Stewart said. Martinez has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Martinez began taking in foster children in 2001 and has had about 60 foster children come through his home, said Sheree Powell, DHS spokeswoman. The award he received along with five other people in 2010 recognizes foster parents for their “selfless dedication to the safety and well-being of children placed in their homes.”
Martinez had three adopted sons and three foster sons in his care at the time of his arrest, Stewart said. The boys, who are between 12 and 17 years old, have been taken into protective custody.
Martinez specialized in providing foster care only for boys, The Oklahoman confirmed.
An anonymous complaint to the Department of Human Services led to an investigation of Martinez, Stewart said. Martinez was interviewed by police, but Stewart would not discuss the details of the interview.
Police only know of one victim, but an investigation is ongoing, Stewart said. He would not say whether the accusations involve any of the children living with Martinez. Oklahoma City police do not publicly identify victims of alleged sex crimes.
“We are surprised and disappointed about the information that has been reported from this investigation,” Powell said.
DHS officials are cooperating with law enforcement officers and are willing to help them track down Martinez's former foster children for questioning if asked to do so, Powell said.