Springfield man facing 22 more charges, accused of sexually abusing young girls for decades

Edward Martinez faces a total of 26 child sex abuse crimes
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:31 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Prosecutors filed more charges against a Springfield man accused of sexually abusing kids for years.

Edward Martinez first caught the eye of prosecutors in two different states 25 years ago. They couldn’t bring him up on charges. A change in state law back in 2014 made it possible for prosecutors to move forward with the cases against him. Martinez’s conduct towards young children set up a pattern of abuse investigators say started when Martinez was just 13 years old.

“The most amazing thing about these victims is just how resilient they are, said Detective James Stephenson with the Republic Police Department.

Detective Stephenson has been working to help Greene County prosecutors build their case of child sex abuse against Martinez.

“They had to go throughout their life, not getting the justice they deserved,” he said.

He says many of Martinez’s accusers have spoken out with no success of holding him accountable.

“There are reports already in the system where they disclosed as a young child and for whatever reason the evidence wasn’t there,” said Stephenson.

That changed nearly eight years ago. Prosecutors may use past accusations to charge suspects like Martinez. They don’t have to solely rely on what could be deemed as admissible evidence.

“They do a lot of hard work to get it to this point where we’re at now,” said Stephenson.

This month, 22 additional charges involving sex abuse, pornography, statutory sodomy, and molestation were filed on behalf of potential victims who came forward after our first story about Martinez aired.

“They’re heroes in one respect or another for how they’ve faced their trials and been able to push through,” he said.

Detective Stephenson says he’s hoping that Martinez’s reported abuse spanning from 1984 to 2021 will finally come to an end.

“I get to play a part in letting them share their story one more time, hopefully in a safe environment. That was the idea. Every single one of them was just grateful. I’m grateful to them as well to be able to share so that we have a chance to put somebody away so they can’t continue to do this,” he said.

Detective Stephenson says he’s following some leads that could turn up more of Martinez’s victims.
Martinez appears in court for a criminal setting hearing Wednesday. He will face a judge at the end of February for a preliminary hearing. A judge ordered him jailed without bond.

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