Friday, August 31, 2007

Brewster man accused of molesting 2 girls


(Original publication: August 18, 2007)

BREWSTER - A 32-year-old village man who police say is in the country illegally is facing charges that he sexually abused two girls, ages 10 and 11.

Sergio Antonio Martinez-Garza is being held in the Putnam County jail on $100,000 bail, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

But even if he posts bond, he won't be released, because federal immigration officials have put a detainer warrant on him, ordering the jail to hold him pending possible deportation proceedings, police said.

Martinez-Garza, of 550 N. Main St., fondled the girls at a residence in Brewster, police said.

The suspect and the girls know one another, and the crimes were not random acts, police said.

Sheriff's investigators arrested him Sunday, charging him with two felony counts of second-degree engaging in a course of sexual conduct against a child.

The sheriff announced the arrest yesterday.

Martinez-Garza was arraigned shortly after his arrest and is due back in court on Sept. 10.

That is the same date that two other village men in the country illegally are due in Village Court to answer charges of statutory rape.

Police said Pedro Sagastume, 21, and Jeremias Perez, 22, had sex with two girls, 13 and 15, in the men's apartment at 167 Main St. last month.

The two men have been held on $50,000 bail since their July 15 arrests.

Sagastume, accused of having sex with a 13-year-old Southeast girl, is charged with second-degree rape, a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Perez, accused of having sex with a 15-year-old Brewster girl, is charged with third-degree rape, a felony with a maximum sentence of four years.

Police said the girls allegedly victimized by Martinez-Garza were not physically injured and were referred to Child Protective Services. Each of the charges against him could result in seven years behind bars.

After the arrest, sheriff's investigators identified Martinez-Garza as a Guatemalan in the country illegally and notified federal immigration officials and the Guatemalan Consulate that he was being held in the Putnam jail, police said.

Reach Terence Corcoran at or 845-228-2275.

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