Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A 31-year-old Santa Ana man pleaded guilty Wednesday to soliciting for prostitution while leaving his young children alone in his SUV and was immediately sentenced to 30 days in jail, or the same amount of time working on a Caltrans crew.

Juan Humberto Martinez was also placed on four years of informal probation and ordered to participate in a yearlong educational program on child abuse, according to Deputy District Attorney Kelly Manley.

Martinez pleaded guilty to agreeing to engage in prostitution and child abuse and endangerment, both misdemeanors.

Manley was on a ride-along with police April 29 as they conducted an undercover sting along Harbor Boulevard, a notorious area for prostitution.

Martinez solicited an undercover officer for prostitution, followed the officer up the stairs of a building to a room where police were waiting to handcuff him, Manley said. Martinez had left his two sons — about 2 and 7 years old — behind in their car seats, Manley said.

For most first-time offenders, prosecutors offer 10 days of Caltrans work and three years of informal probation, but because Martinez left his children behind he received a tougher punishment, Manley said.

Martinez’s attorney, Jose Alfredo Hernandez, said his client was remorseful.

“He cares very much for his family and he’s very remorseful and wishes he made a better choice,” Hernandez said.

— City News Service

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