Jury selection got underway Tuesday for the trial of a former Coachella Valley Unified School District teacher accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl he met outside of his job.
Luis Alfonso Martinez, 43, is charged with two counts each of lewd acts on a minor and oral copulation of a child under 10 years old, as well as one count each of committing multiple lewd acts on an underage victim and distributing explicit material to a minor.
Martinez’s case was transferred from the Larson Justice Center in Indio to the Riverside Hall of Justice on Monday, and Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jerry Yang summoned several panels of prospective jurors to the downtown courthouse for screening as to their availability and qualifications.
Jury selection is expected to continue into next week, after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Martinez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside. He was arrested in August 2021 following a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigation.
According to court records, the alleged assaults occurred between October 2010 and October 2014. A CVUSD spokeswoman confirmed shortly after the defendant was taken into custody that the alleged sexual assaults did not involve a student enrolled in one of Martinez’s adult education classes.
Investigators did not reveal the defendant’s relationship, if any, to the victim, whose identity was not disclosed. There was also no mention of the circumstances behind the alleged sexual abuse, including where it occurred.
Martinez has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.