One Year Ago Today (December 10, 2021)…A 30-year-old man pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail for repeatedly having sex with a girl he met through a Santa Ana church, starting when she was about 13 and continuing until she turned 18.
According to the criminal complaint, Martin Herrera drove the victim from church to a rear parking lot of a medical facility to sexually assault her.
Herrera also had sex with her at Hart Park in Orange, at a hotel, while parked on a street in a car, one time on Burdie Lane in Orange and the parking lot of a Hometown Buffet restaurant, according to the criminal complaint.
The sexual assaults began in February 2013 and continued through April 2016, according to the complaint.
“They met when they were both involved in the church choir,” said Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna when charges were filed. “He played guitar and she sang.”
The church, which no longer exists, was called Generations, Bertagna said.
When the victim turned 18 “he stopped contacting her,” Bertagna said.
Herrera took pictures and videos of her during sex acts, Bertagna said.
“He would pick her up from school and then would take her to where she needed to go and then would go off to a different location and have sex,” Bertagna said.
Herrera pleaded guilty to two counts of oral copulation of an underage victim, two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and a count of sexual penetration of an underage victim, all felonies.
As part of the plea deal, felony counts of kidnapping for child molesting, lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, possession or control of child pornography, sexual penetration of an underage victim oral copulation of a victim younger than 16 were dismissed.