As news of the fate of Kate Steinle’s killer, Garcia Zarate, dominates the news, it appears to be eclipsing reporting on other crimes committed by illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities. Specifically, it seems to be eclipsing the story of Sergio Jose Martinez, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison last Friday.
His last words for the court? He turned to the families of the victims to say “See all you guys in hell.”
Sergio Martinez was tried in Oregon for crimes including kidnapping, sexual assault, sodomy, burglary, sexual abuse, and more. These crimes occurred over the course of two attacks perpetrated by Sergio.
The first attack occurred on July 24th and involved a 65-year-old woman in North Portland. Sergio entered through a window she had left open in hopes of cooling her home on the warm summer night. Brandishing a large metal rod, Garcia commanded the woman to get on the ground before binding her and blindfolding her. Having accomplished that, he threatened to murder her and sexually assaulted her. In the end, he stole her purse and her car and fled the scene, while the victim called police from a neighboring house with the help of a neighbor.
In hopes of catching him, the local police began to keep an eye out for the stolen vehicle, which was quickly found and put under surveillance. While officers waited for Sergio to return to his recently-stolen vehicle, they found that he had been instead arrested after assaulting a second victim, who he had attacked in a nearby parking garage.
He had approached his second victim as she was near her car in the parking garage with a knife in his hand. He told her to get into her car, and he climbed in after her. As Sergio was getting into the car, however, his victim was smart enough to try and get away while screaming for help. Sergio responded by slamming her head repeatedly into the ground. Thankfully, a passerby approached to see what was going on, and Sergio fled, only to be apprehended by officers a few hours later.
For his atrocious actions, Sergio was given a plea deal; he was to plead guilty to ten separate charges, including burglary, sodomy, sex abuse, and more, and in exchange, he would be spared a longer sentence for his crimes. Sergio’s lawyer, Jonathan Sarre, argued that his client suffered from mental illness, saying, “often such people may do inappropriate things in these situations.” Even with that claim, a doctor had examined Sergio and had found him to be competent to stand trial.
It is unlikely that plea deal or no, Sergio was going to avoid prison time; the only question is how much he was going to serve. Thankfully, under Oregon law, the crimes he committed and plead guilty to preclude Sergio from being able eligible for early release, meaning that unless there is a change in the law, he is likely to spend all 35 years in a cell.
Sergio is no stranger to cells, though. No more than a week before the crimes he has recently plead guilty to, Sergio Martinez had been freed from prison, where he had been serving a sentence for interfering with a police investigation and providing a false birth date.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement had asked that he be held by the city of Portland, but the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office declined. You see, Oregon passed legislation in 1987 that declared it the first sanctuary state in the nation, a law that prevents local law enforcement from detaining illegal immigrants who have not been accused of breaking any other law.
Multnomah Sheriff Michael Reese said he could not comply with the immigration detainer request, but that had ICE sent a criminal detention warrant that was approved and signed by a judge, they could have held Sergio Martinez longer. Thankfully, when Sergio is due to be released in 35 years (2052), ICE will have another chance to arrest him. Hopefully, ICE manages to take custody of Sergio at that time and deport him.
Then again, it is obvious deportation has done nothing to Sergio thus far. Sergio Martinez, who has been deported a whopping 20 TIMES and has been convicted of crimes in the past, neither of which seem to have done anything to prevent him from returning. It doesn’t help that the state of Oregon basically refused to cooperate with the federal authorities to deport this recidivist.
Yet again, another tale of violence that could have been prevented with immigration laws, and yet wasn’t due to ‘sanctuary’ territories. The concept of sanctuary cities and areas needs to be reviewed, and their impact on the citizenry needs accounting for. Until such is repealed, any city that aids a criminal in escaping justice and deportation is culpable in their future crimes.