By Kristen Lowe
MIDLAND- A Midland jury found Charles Martinez, also known as "Ereez," was found guilty of two counts on Tuesday. One of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and for transporting a minor with the intent of having sex.
Martinez is now in federal custody and faces 10 years to life in prison.
In court this week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Austin Berry used Facebook messages and e-mails between Martinez and the minor to show the jury that their relationship was sexual and that Martinez knew the girl was under 18.
The girl testified that she found Martinez's Youtube channel and messaged him on Facebook in April 2012. They eventually started exchanging nude photos until they met for the first time that May. That was when, she said, they had sex for the first time. He was 28. She had just turned 16.
A special agent with HSI testified that Martinez was concerned about the girl's age at first.
"He said he thought about it for five or ten minutes and decided to do it anyway," she said.
According to court testimony, Martinez made two more trips to the girl's home in Wisconsin. On the third trip, he brought her back to Stanton with her mother's permission.
"She needed a fresh start," the mother testified.
Martinez's attorney argued their relationship was about more than sex. He referenced e-mails from Martinez saying he was in love and wanting to marry the girl.
Berry argued that ultimately, "intent to marry" isn't a defense. He also pointed out that the girl's consent to have sex with Martinez was irrelevant because she is a minor.
Martinez never took the stand. He will be sentenced in late July.
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