Former Colorado school official Jason Martinez acquitted of sex assault

Posted at 6:29 AM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 08:29:42-04

A Denver jury has acquitted a former Colorado school official of four counts of sexual assault of a child.

Jason Martinez, a former Denver schools employee, was hired last year by New Mexico's largest district despite being charged with sexually abusing two young boys. School officials never completed a background check on him. The outcry over the hiring led Albuquerque's superintendent to resign. Martinez quit.

The proceedings that ended in acquittal Tuesday were the second for Martinez in the case involving the boys after a mistrial was declared last year.

Martinez said he never inappropriately touched the two young boys.

Martinez was a longtime friend of the boys' families. He adopted one boy's father when he was abandoned as a child.

Martinez testified Tuesday that one of the boys came to stay with him in Denver in May 2013. He was concerned about the boy's filthy living conditions back home.

After the visit, the boy told his mother Martinez had abused him. After he made the allegation, the second boy also said Martinez abused him.

The Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman said in an email to The Associated Press that Martinez still faces two counts of assault against two men in an unrelated case. He is out on bond and scheduled to appear in a Denver court in August in that case.