BY MAIRE O’NEILL
A status hearing is set for Jan. 4, 2019 in Los Alamos Magistrate Court for Aaron James Martinez, 26 of Santo Domingo on a charge of tampering with evidence in connection with cell phone communications with a 15-year old Los Alamos female.
The criminal complaint alleges that on Oct. 24, Martinez destroyed cell phone data with the intent of preventing apprehension, prosecution or conviction of child solicitation by electronic communication.
Court documents indicate that Los Alamos Police Sgt. Tim Lonz met with the female juvenile July 2 at the police department. She told Lonz she had accepted a follow request on Snapchat from Martinez and that two months prior he had started asking her for nude photos daily over a three-week period. Lonz’s report states that the juvenile told Martinez if he didn’t stop, she would contact the police to turn him in for solicitation of a minor. She told Lonz that Martinez stopped asking for the photos but tried to befriend her again July 2 under a different tag name.
The juvenile later spoke to Lonz and told him she had sent two photos to Martinez but became uncomfortable. Lonz’s report states that the victim said she has sent some inappropriate photos but none to Martinez.
The juvenile allegedly received a message June 5 from Martinez asking her and another female to kiss and that she had replied with a photo of them kissing each other’s hands. She said Martinez than asked them to “change in front of each other in order to show their closeness as friends” and that they took a video of themselves “changing down to their underwear and bra”.
The report says Martinez tried again July 4 to befriend the juvenile using a different tag name. On July 18, LAPD Det. Matt Lyon, having confirmed Martinez’s identification and obtained his driver’s license photo arranged for a photo line-up during which the juvenile identified Martinez’s photo. On July 26, Lyon extracted the data from the juvenile’s phone.
Lyon’s report states that he met with Oct. 24 with Martinez who told him several of his social media accounts had been hacked. Martinez admitted remembering talking to the victim and that they talked about where she was going to go to college, that she was 17 and that she lived in Los Alamos. The report says Martinez eventually admitted asking for nude photos via Snapshot, but claimed she told him no and he never asked again. Martinez told Lyon he couldn’t remember if she told him she was 17 before or after he asked for the photos.
At that point Lyon advised him to have no contact with the juvenile. Martinez agreed to have data extracted from his phone but said he needed it for work that night and asked if he could bring it the following day. He was advised not to delete anything from the phone, however when Lyon performed his extraction he located a factory re-set done the previous day.
Based on statements from the juvenile and made by Martinez as well as evidence found on the juvenile’s phone, Lyon determined there was probable cause to believe that evidence regarding harassment, stalking and/or child solicitation by electronic communication existed in Martinez’s cell phone because of the re-set that was performed.
A summons was issued by Los Alamos Magistrate Court charging Martinez with the offense. He was advised of his rights Nov. 29 by Judge Pat Casados and released on his own recognizance on conditions of release pending trial.