Arapahoe District Court Judge Phillip Douglass on Thursday imposed the maximum sentence on a man who sexually assaulted an Aurora woman in her home while he videotaped the crime. The judge said he wanted “to create a deterrence for men who assault escorts or those who work in the commercial sex industry — they need to know they will be penalized.”
Desmond Alvis Martin, 31, of Colorado Springs, was sentenced to 48 years to life in prison.
Rape “is a violent and ugly crime, a crime of power. You degraded your victim to make yourself feel powerful,” Judge Douglass told Martin as he imposed the sentence. “The only thing stopping you is that you are in custody.”
The case stemmed from Jan. 13, 2016, when the woman told police a man with a handgun and a mask came into her home. He forced her at gunpoint to perform numerous sex acts while he taped her on his cell phone.
Martin was identified when law enforcement officers in Colorado Springs noted similarities between the Aurora case and sex assaults in El Paso County. Evidence from both jurisdictions led authorities to Martin.
Evidence identified four similar sex assaults in Colorado Springs. Those women each testified regarding the peculiarities of Martin’s behavior during Martin’s trial in Arapahoe County.
On July 7, 2017, an Arapahoe County jury found Martin guilty of sexual assault, a Class 2 felony.
The Aurora victim spoke at the sentencing.
“What he did is not OK – nobody deserves to be held at gunpoint like I was. I’m still in therapy over the 30 minutes I spent with him,” the woman said. “He needs to get what he deserves.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cara Morlan asked the court to impose the maximum possible sentence.
“The defendant targeted his victims because they lived on the margins of society and he believed they would not report the crime,” Morlan told the court. “I can imagine no other more serious crime of sex assault – he brought a gun, he brought a mask, he videotaped them without consent. … He continues to take no accountability.”
Judge Douglass agreed, as did District Attorney George Brauchler.
“There is no hope of rehabilitating a miscreant who would engage in such despicable and violent behavior,” Brauchler said. “This is why we build prisons. Our community is safer with this rapist behind bars.”
A plea hearing in Martin’s trial in Colorado Springs on sexual assault charges is set for Sept. 5. He is presumed innocent in that case unless he pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial.