The documents reveal the years of effort his order spent trying to cure him of his pedophilia as it shuttled him between programs, including inpatient treatment, and paid for decades of therapy.
Some of the files unsealed Wednesday, including those of the nuns, don’t mention sexual abuse, and others appear to have large gaps in time and missing documents. The release included files from the Oblates, the Marianists, the Benedictines and two orders for religious sisters.
The fact that the files don’t reflect the abuse reported in civil lawsuits doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, said Ray Boucher, the lead plaintiff attorney coordinating the release.
“Much of this went unreported. You’re talking about kids that were terrorized and frightened in so many different ways, with no place and no one to turn to,” he said.
Martinez’s file paints a devastating picture of a troubled and repressed child who later joined the priesthood to satisfy a domineering and devout father. Martinez admitted in therapy to molesting his younger brother as a child, the documents show.
When he arrived in his hometown parish in 1972, he immediately began molesting children, recalled one man who sued over Martinez’s abuse. The man, now 50, requested anonymity because he is well-known in his professional life and has not spoken publicly about his case before. The AP does not publish the names of victims of sexual abuse without their consent.
“We were into wrestling characters on television, and what he would do is he would have us wrestle each other and then wrestle with him, which means we’d get down into our (underwear) and he’d take pictures of us. He was always taking pictures,” the man said.
The man received a settlement in 2007, and Martinez was never charged criminally, in part because his alleged abuses weren’t reported until years later.
Martinez, now 72, was removed from active parish ministry in 1993. No one answered the door at Martinez’s listed address, and a call was not returned.
Calls to the U.S. Province of the Oblates and emails to two attorneys representing Martinez and the three other Oblate priests whose files were released also were not returned. Attorneys for the Benedictines and Marianists and a representative from the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also did not return calls.