Crime

Tulare County DA ‘disappointed’ after cop gets half a year in jail for lewd acts with minor

Former Porterville police sergeant Wayne Martin pleaded no contest in June to meeting a minor for lewd purposes in 2018. Martin, 34, will spend half a year in jail and three years in probation, a Visalia judge ruled Wednesday, July 10, 2019.
Former Porterville police sergeant Wayne Martin pleaded no contest in June to meeting a minor for lewd purposes in 2018. Martin, 34, will spend half a year in jail and three years in probation, a Visalia judge ruled Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Tulare County Sheriff's Office

The Tulare County District Attorney said he is “disappointed” in a judge’s ruling on Wednesday against a Porterville police officer who was convicted of lewd acts with a minor.

Former Porterville police sergeant Wayne Martin pleaded no contest in June to meeting a minor for lewd purposes last year. He will spend half a year in jail and three years in probation, a Visalia judge ruled.

Martin, 34, was arrested in September 2018 after Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies found him meeting up with a then 17-year-old girl in a hillside orchard north of Porterville.

The girl identified herself to investigators as part of the Porterville police Explorer program. Martin, a 12-year veteran with the police department, was supervisor of the Explorer program.

Martin resigned from the department shortly after he was caught with the girl, according to police.

Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued for more jail time, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office. Martin will not have to sign a restraining order against the victim nor will he have to register as a sex offender for life, which is required for such conviction.

The judge ordered sex offender registration just for the three years of Martin’s probation, but not for life. Aside from sentencing him to jail and probation, the court “verbally admonished” Martin, leaving the DA unsatisfied.

The DA’s office “will be appealing the lack of lifetime sex offender registration,” District Attorney Tim Ward said in a statement.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.

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