Miguel Martinez

Martinez

A family friend suspected of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl last month denied the charges at a court hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors charged Miguel Martinez with one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in March.

Martinez’s defense attorney, Tracy Hucke, said in court that Martinez identifies as a woman and uses the name Michelle. Martinez pleaded not guilty at her arraignment to both counts Wednesday afternoon in Natrona County District Court.

The girl’s mom contacted the Casper Police Department on March 23 and reported that her daughter said Martinez, who was a friend of the family, had sexually assaulted her in a bathroom in a private residence about 8:30 p.m. The girl immediately told her mom.

The girl told police that Martinez asked her to come into the bathroom with her and then touched her breasts and her genitalia before penetrating her. She started to cry as she told the officer that “it hurt inside.”

The girl underwent a sexual assault exam at the Wyoming Medical Center, in which nurses found redness and abrasions, the documents state.

Police officers found Martinez passed out on a couch in a home in Evansville. Martinez was extremely intoxicated and hard to wake up, according to the documents. Officers drove Martinez to the Casper Police Department for an interview.

Martinez became “noticeably hostile and defensive” when a detective began asking about the girl’s allegations. Martinez said that the girl had been “talking crap” earlier that day and denied being a child molester. Martinez said the accusations were a “publicity stunt” before refusing to speak further with the detective.

If convicted, Martinez could be sentenced to up to a total of 70 years.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

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Features Editor

Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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