Dad's Custody of Children Pulled Due to Being a Sex Offender

By Camaron Abundes  
NewsWest 9

RANKIN- Custody battles are never easy but for one Rankin mother, a court order was too much to stomach. Associate Judge Matthew Blair for the 6th and 7th Administrative Judicial Regions, ordered visitation rights including overnight visitation, every other weekend to Jimmy Joe Martinez. Martinez is a registered sex offender, convicted of sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl back in 2005.

Judge Blair was not in the office on Thursday and was unavailable for comment.

According to a six page document outlining the conditions of Martinez's probation, obtained from the Upton County Clerks office, says Martinez is not allowed to be around anyone under 17 without permission from the court and supervision.

Hernandez says just 24 hours before she was ordered to turn over the children to Martinez, Fort Stockton District Attorney Laurie English called to tell her she contacted Martinez and told him he was not allowed his visitation rights.

Hernandez says she contacted anyone who would listen when the order came down last Thursday. Today she says she is relieved.

"Why wait and let something like that happen?" Hernandez said, who also says she wants her children to know their dad but doesn't think the visitations should be anything but supervised.

Betty Dickerson, heads up the Midland Rape Crisis and Child Advocacy Center.

"[Children] always know it's always either family, friends, somebody they know," Dickerson who says undoubtedly there is a cycle of abuse, said, "If it were my child I would feel the same way, but it has to be addressed through the family court system."

A family Law Attorney told Newswest 9 a judge must weigh all sides to do what's best for the children, he adds it's up to the Judge's discretion and there are no steadfast rules.

"I just think a lot more needs to be done," Hernandez said, "I talked to CPS and they advised me to let the children go, and then if I see some kind of abuse then they told me to call them and they will investigate."

Hernandez wants lawmakers to do more.

"It's my two small children that I care about," she said, "and anyone else's children in this situation."

According to Hernandez, Martinez will be allowed to appeal.