Ex-Air Force policeman who recorded rapes sentenced to prison
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Desmond Alvis Martin.

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A former Peterson Air Force Base security policeman who led a double life while raping sex workers at gunpoint is headed for decades behind bars.

Ex-Air Force Staff Sgt. Desmond Alvis Martin was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for raping four women in Colorado Springs. The sentence will run concurrent to a 48 year-to-life sentence he received last year after being convicted at a trial in Arapahoe County for sexually assaulting another woman under similar circumstances.

A sixth sex worker believed to have been assaulted in Denver was never identified.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Marla Prudek approved the sentence, which was hashed out with El Paso County prosecutors in September after the four local victims said they didn't want to testify a second time.

"They don't even want to talk to us," said prosecutor Jennifer Viehman. "They were terrified and terrorized, and they want Mr. Martin to go to (prison)."

Martin, 31, declined to speak at sentencing, answering "No ma'am" when asked if he wished to address the court.

Two years after his arrest, he sat alone in court without supporters - his wife having divorced him and moved out of state with their toddler daughter.

"With all of the wonderful things he had going - a lovely wife, a great career, a young baby - how do you explain why this would happen?" his attorney Steven Katzman said after the hearing.

Under Colorado's stringent sentencing rules for sex offenders, Martin can be held for the rest of his life, or until probation officers determine he is safe for release.

In pleading guilty, Martin admitted that he arranged dates with each woman but instead attacked them in a homemade ski mask when he arrived for their meeting, using a pistol to keep them compliant and his cellphone to record the assaults.

For one of them, who offered massages on an online classified ad website, Martin's visit marked her first foray into sex work, Viehman said. She and the others have reported they have found new livelihoods, and at least one left the state.

"I think it was a wake-up call for several of them about how dangerous this lifestyle can be," she said.

Martin was a dog handler with a Peterson Air Force Base security squadron at the time of his April 2015 arrest. He was kicked out of the service while charges against him were pending.

A victim's description of a thin blue line that ran around his wedding band helped steer officers toward the theory the rapist was a member of law enforcement, authorities said.

But it was Martin's practice of documenting his crimes that sealed his fate. In searching his trunk, detectives found digital storage devices containing footage of the rapes, some showing a laser sight on his pistol moving across the women's bodies as he assaulted them.

At his August trial in Arapahoe County, Katzman tried to persuade a jury that Martin was guilty of nothing more than paying for sex. The woman in that case denied she was a prostitute until roughly 10 days before the trial began, he said.

Prudek said the video footage left little doubt the women were victims of a violent crime.

"I saw how the gun was used by Mr. Martin. I saw the victims' eyes and facial expressions. Some of them were crying, shaky. Their voices were shaky. They were terrified."

Martin, who stood impassive as his penalty was imposed, deserved "every minute" of his sentence, the judge said.

"I don't see very much, if any, remorse," she added.


I cover legal affairs for The Gazette, with an emphasis on the criminal courts. Tips to lance.benzel@gazette.com

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