Sexual Predator Sentenced To Serve Up To 175 Years In Prison | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

SMITHFIELD – A Johnston County man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after pleading guilty to multiple counts of sexual abuse. On May 14, Superior Court Judge Keith Gregory sentenced 50 year-old convicted sex offender James Louis Martin of Clayton to a minimum of 125 and a maximum of 175 years in prison.

Martin was originally arrested in May 2022 for prior sex offenses against children in Johnston County. Martin was charged with previously exposing himself to young girls, age 9 and 10, at the Chandler’s Ridge Community Pool in Clayton. He was also charged with having an inappropriate relationship with an 8 year-old girl.

After his 2022 arrest was reported in the local media, another minor came forward reporting crimes that occurred from 2014 to 2018 at the victim’s home.

In March 2023, more charges were added after he was linked to the 2021 sexual assault of two minor siblings at a hotel in Hillview, Kentucky. The siblings were also assaulted in the summer of 2021 while in Clayton.

Martin’s trial was set to begin on May 6, 2024. The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office presented evidence in a pretrial hearing detailing the defendant’s repeated sexual abuse of multiple children ranging in age from 4 to 13 years of age. The evidence also showed that from 2012 through 2021, James Martin committed acts of child sexual abuse against different children in Massachusetts, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

During the pretrial hearing, James Martin decided to plead guilty. The sentencing was delayed allowing the out-of-state survivors to travel to Johnston County so they could attend the sentencing and be heard.

On May 14, 2024, prosecutors presented evidence in a very emotional sentencing hearing in Johnston County Superior Court. After hearing from multiple children who had suffered varying degrees of sexual abuse by Martin he was sentenced to prison.

Paul Jackson, Assistant District Attorney said, “The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office is pleased with the outcome and the sentence imposed. I was honored to be in the same courtroom with these brave survivors and hear them take back their strength and power. Everyone in our community owes them a debt of gratitude. Their courage is an example of true heroism.”

“We thank Detective Jason Linder of the Clayton Police Department for his hard work in this very complicated and difficult case. His dedication and professionalism made this day possible. Thankfully this sexual predator will never again be able to harm another child. The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively pursue and bring to justice those who prey upon the children in our community,” Mr. Jackson said.

In 2013, James Martin was charged with indecent exposure involving children in Holliston, Massachusetts. The charge was dismissed in 2014.

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