Man facing child sex charges deported to Mexico

01/20/2012 10:34 AM |

RUFINO MARTINEZ-ORTIZ

A Riverhead man charged with raping an 11-year-old girl last March — charges that were later downgraded — has been deported to Mexico, authorities said.

Rufino Martinez-Ortiz, 23, of Riverhead was arrested by Riverhead Police on July 20 and charged with first-degree rape, a felony.

Mr. Martinez-Ortiz, an undocumented immigrant who worked at a Jamesport nursery, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was held on $100,000 bail, according to court reports. An order of protection was also issued for the victim’s family by the Riverhead Justice Court.

The victim told her mother in July that Mr. Martinez-Ortiz had “touched her inappropriately” four months earlier, Suffolk County prosecutors said. But a physical examination of the victim in July revealed no evidence that a rape occurred, said Bob Clifford of District Attorney Tom Spota’s office.

He added that “inconstancies between the victim’s statements” made during later interviews led the district attorney to change the charges against Mr. Martinez-Ortiz to second-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors.

Mr. Martinez-Ortiz was released from jail on his own recognizance on Sept. 15, after the charges were downgraded, court records show. He was held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was deported to Mexico, his home country, on Nov. 3 because he was determined to be a “public safety threat,” federal officials said.

An active bench warrant was issued for Mr. Martinez-Ortiz in case he tries to enter the country illegally again, prosecutors said. If Mr. Martinez-Ortiz were to return to the U.S., he would be arrested on both misdemeanor charges and would face jail time if convicted.

He could also face federal charges for illegal reentry after deportation, authorities said.

psquire@timesreview.com