Martz gets maximum for sex crimes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2007

A man accused of sexually abusing two young girls got the maximum sentence Wednesday when he stood before Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper to answer for his crimes.

Bruce Martz, 75, who has listed both an Ashland, Ky., address and an address at 583 Township Road 93S, South Point, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and must, upon release from prison, register as a sexual predator.

He pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of first-degree rape and one count of third-degree gross sexual imposition. The two victims were girls over the age of 10 but under the age of 13 when the acts occurred earlier this summer.

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In asking for the maximum sentence allowed, Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., told Cooper the crimes to which Martz admitted are among “the most reprehensible crimes Ohio recognizes.”

“The only good thing I can say is that he is not putting them (the victims) through the course of a trial,” Collier said.

Martz’ attorney, Philip Heald, agreed the acts against the two girls were terrible and said Martz has from the beginning admitted his crimes and never asked for leniency.

“The fact is Mr. Martz chose this route because he does not want to put his family through a trial,” Heald said. “The first thing he said to me was that he did not want to contest this in any form whatsoever.”

Heald said these crimes were out of character for Martz, who is well educated and does not have a criminal history and when released from jail accidentally by Lawrence County Municipal Court, did not leave.

“This is a horrific event,” Heald said. “I know he is extremely remorseful for this.”

Martz himself told Cooper he was deeply remorseful for what he had done.

“I only hope what judgment is passed down on me will provide some retribution for those injured by my actions,” he said.