Dispatcher who was also Fresno church elder makes plea deal in sex abuse case

Martin Ramos
Martin Ramos

A 45-year-old Fresno man, who worked as a police dispatcher in Madera, pleaded no contest on Friday to charges he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl from his church.

Martin Phillip Ramos was supposed to begin his preliminary hearing before Judge Arlan Harrell on Friday, but prosecutor Nicole Galstan offered a plea deal and Ramos took it.

Ramos previously pleaded not guilty to felony oral copulation, possession and distribution of child pornography and misdemeanor child molestation.

He was facing up to seven years in prison if convicted on all charges.

As part of the agreement, Ramos pleaded no contest to one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 18 and one misdemeanor count of child molestation.

Judge Harrell proposed a sentence of 270 days in county jail and three years probation. He could get a prison term of two years if he violates the terms of his sentence. He must also register as a sex offender when he is released.

His sentencing date is scheduled for Oct. 18.

Ramos’ parents were in the courtroom watching as he was handcuffed by a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy. The judge ordered Ramos to be jailed while he awaits his sentencing.

Fresno police began investigating Ramos after receiving an anonymous tip.

They learned Ramos met the victim and her family while he was an elder at a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in the 4000 block of West McKinley Avenue.

Ramos mentored the girl, and the two communicated through text messages. At one point, the two exchanged “inappropriate” photos and their relationship turned physical, police said.