Child advocate charged with sexual assault


HONOLULU (AP) — The former head of a now shuttered agency that sought foster parents for children has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Louis A. Martinez, 37, pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony sexual assault, one felony count of attempted sexual assault, and two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/126nrL7) reported.

An Oahu grand jury indicted Martinez last week. Deputy Prosecutor Chastity Imamura said in court that Martinez gave five shots of liquor to a 16-year-old girl in October 2011 and sexually assaulted her when she fell asleep.

In 2005, under the name “David Louis,” Martinez founded Heart Gallery Hawaii, a chapter of a national group that seeks homes for foster children who have had difficulty being placed. The organization uses publically displayed photographs of the children to recruit foster parents.

Heart Gallery Hawaii is no longer in operation.

Martinez released an autobiographical book in 2006 that he wrote as David Louis.

“Scars That Can Heal” describes Martinez growing up in foster care, placements in 30 mainland homes and 19 school changes. The book said he was abused in one foster home, the newspaper said.

When he released the book, Martinez said he had a decade of experience working in Oahu schools and social care facilities.

 

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