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On October 2nd, Matthew Martinez, former Tulsa pastor at New Heights Baptist Church, was charged with two counts of sexual battery.
The pastor tutored a young girl once a week. He now stands accused of having sexual relations with said minor who attended his church throughout her life.
The victim informed detectives that his inappropriate behavior started when she was 15. Martinez would often text her and stated how he missed her.
Former Tulsa pastor would flirt with the minor, calling her “pretty” and “babe”
According to court documents, the victim was manipulated by Martinez. It states he told her if she ever told anyone, she would be in trouble.
It’s alleged Martinez also threatened to reveal her secrets if she tried to distance herself from him.
Over the years, the contact between the two became worse, going from emotional to physical. When the young girl was in her senior year of high school, Martinez inappropriately touched her and began kissing her.
According to the victim, he kissed her about 30 times, most commonly in school or church. Martinez increasingly became more inappropriate, touching her hands and then placing his hand up her skirts while rubbing her chest.
The sexual misconduct started when she was 15 and ended at 18.
On May 15, the victim reported the sexual misconduct to officials, leading to Martinez to resign as pastor on the same day.
Shortly after, Martinez handed in his letter of resignation to Paul Gentry, New Heights Baptists Church Pastor, including details of a few allegations.
However, the lewd behavior would continue from Martinez, as police learned that he was texting and flirting with another 18-year-old-girl one month after his resignation.
Pastor Gentry stated, “New Heights Baptist Church does not cover-up inappropriate behavior, and we have zero tolerance in our ministry. As a matter of policy, we report all suspicions of potential activity to authorities. We carefully interview and screen our employees and volunteers, and our leadership team works to maintain policies based on best practices nationally and Oklahoma State law.”
Martinez posted bail and was released from Tulsa County jail. He is due in court for prosecution on October 6.
Source link : theblackwallsttimes.com