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DA to appeal ‘light’ sentencing of former officer’s lewd act

DA to appeal ‘light’ sentencing of former officer’s lewd act

Judge sentences former police officer to 180 days in jail for lewd act with a minor


VISALIA – One officer who was sworn to protect and serve is sitting behind bars since his sentencing last Wednesday, July 10. Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward thinks the punishment doesn’t quite fit the crime.

Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gary Paden sentenced 34-year-old Wayne Martin to 180 days in jail and three years probation for one felony count of meeting a minor for a lewd purpose. 

Martin, a former Porterville police officer, pleaded no contest on June 4 for the charge. 

“We are disappointed in this sentence and will be appealing the lack of lifetime sex offender registration,” said Ward. 

The crime occurred on Sept. 16, 2018, against a 17-year-old female. 

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Melissa Chabra argued for more jail time, enrollment in a sex offender treatment program, and a written post sentencing no contact order. These additional terms were not imposed by the court; however, the court verbally admonished Martin not to contact the victim. Supervising DDA Chabra also argued that according to California Penal Code section 290(b), a conviction for this crime requires sex offender registration for life. The court imposed sex offender registration only for the term of probation. 

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