Rape and imprisonment defendant earns 140 months
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
WATERVILLE — A Wenatchee man who imprisoned, raped and extorted sex from his former girlfriend will serve nearly 12 years in prison, and still faces charges of hiring a fellow jail inmate to silence her.
In his guilty plea in August, Martin Diaz, 48, maintained that the events later charged as crimes were part of a consensual arrangement, but agreed he had violated a restraining order and he would likely be convicted of the greater charges at trial.
Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss sentenced Diaz to 140 months in prison Monday on the charge of first-degree rape, with Diaz appearing in the Waterville courtroom by video from the Chelan County Regional Justice Center. The rape sentence runs concurrently with lesser terms for residential burglary, unlawful imprisonment and the protective-order violation.
The assault took place in July 2011, but was not reported to East Wenatchee police until November. The victim told investigators Diaz broke into her home and surprised her when she returned, brandishing a gun and binding her to a chair using handcuffs and flex-ties prior to the rape.
Between the attack and the report to police, the woman said, Diaz threatened her and her family with kidnapping and murder if he was not paid $400,000. She said he forced her to withdraw the no-contact order she’d taken out in June, then extorted sexual favors from her by threatening to release photographs he took during the assault.
Among the evidence she presented to police, the victim turned over voicemails from Diaz referring to the photos and a hired thug named “Mike” who would harm her and force her relatives into sex slavery if she did not comply, East Wenatchee Police Detective Darin Darnell said.
Diaz was arrested in December, and admitted the allegations to police, saying he’d disposed of the camera and handcuffs used in the crime. While he was awaiting trial in jail, another inmate turned over evidence to his lawyer that Diaz had tried to recruit him into a scheme to intimidate the victim and keep her from testifying. According to court papers, Diaz gave the inmate details of the victim’s daily life and promised $2,000, providing an advance of $500.
That led to charges in Chelan County Superior Court of conspiracy to intimidate a witness, attempted witness intimidation and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault. Diaz is scheduled to enter a plea on those counts Wednesday; he faces a potential sentence of up to five years on each charge.
In a letter to Hotchkiss, the victim wrote that Diaz’s attack and manipulations left her deeply traumatized, and she feels “fortunate to be alive.”
“... He was trying to control my actions and even my emotions,” she wrote. “He was calculating and everything he did was to instill fear and control.”
Jefferson Robbins: 664-7123
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