April 12th, 2024

Guilty pleas expected in sex assault and child pornography case


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 2, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 44-year-old man facing numerous sex-related offences in Lethbridge, could plead guilty to similar charges out of Calgary when he returns to court later this month.

During a brief hearing Wednesday in Lethbridge court of justice, Crown Prosecutor Tara Hayes said the accused, James Robert Martinac, has directed his lawyer to resolve 13 charges, which include sexual contact with a child, sexual assault, possession of child pornography, distribute/sell child pornography, and make/print/publish child pornography.

Those charges may be resolved on Nov. 22, Hayes said, adding that she and defence are still discussing nearly a dozen Lethbridge charges, including sexual assault, sexual contact with a child, luring a child under 18, sexual exploitation and luring a child under 16.

Hayes said Lethbridge lawyer Scott Hadford requires more time to go over a “substantial” amount of disclosure and decide with his client whether to resolve the Lethbridge charges or set them for trial.

Lethbridge police reported in May 2022 they had charged a man with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 2021. In April 2022, the girl, who was then 16 years old, told police she had been sexually assaulted by a man who is known to her.

Investigation by members of the criminal investigation section determined the girl had been staying with the man at his home and was given drugs and sexually assaulted on multiple occasions over the course of several months in 2021.

During their investigation police seized electronic devices that contained images of child pornography.

Late last year Martinac was on the verge of resolving the charges before changing his mind last June when he elected trial by Court of King’s bench judge alone, with a preliminary hearing. Then he was expected to resolve the charges last month, but his matters were adjourned with the assurance that the matters would soon be resolved.

Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

Share this story:

11
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments