Man Gets 20 Years For Sexually Assaulting 4-Year-Old Girl

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A Benton County man received a 20-year sentence Tuesday morning in Benton County Circuit Court for sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl, according to the county prosecutor’s office.

Juan Martinez, 43, was found guilty in a trial-by-judge of a second-degree sexual assault charge Tuesday. In a trial-by-judge, a judge oversees the case and evidence and makes the determination instead of a jury, said Stuart Cearley, Benton County chief deputy prosecutor.

The judge gave Martinez the maximum sentence. Second-degree sexual assault carries a five to 20-year sentence, Cearley said. Martinez was originally charged with rape, which carries a 25 to 40-year sentence, the prosecutor said.

Martinez will likely spend at least one-third of his sentence behind bars before he is eligible for parole. His parole eligibility time could be cut in half with good behavior, Cearley said.

The four-year-old victim was left in Martinez’s care for one day last year. The girl later told her mom Martinez touched her inappropriately. Crime lab staff found Martinez’s DNA in the girl’s underwear, Cearley said.

Martinez was arrested last November.