Jury finds Joseph David Martin guilty, recommends 580 years

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

A Henry County jury has convicted Joseph David Martin, 39, on every count related to charges that he had sex with an underage female over a three-year-period.

The jury took three hours to declare Martin guilty after receiving the case Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, they took just 90 minutes to setence him to the maximum possible: 580 years.

Martin was charged with 14 counts of 1st degree unlawful transaction with a minor illegal sex act, victim under 16 (class B felonies); use of a minor under age 16 in a sexual performance (class B felony); 14 counts of incest, forcible compulsion, victim incapable of consent or under the age of 18 (class B felonies); and one count each of complicity to tampering with a witness and complicity to tampering with physical evidence (both class D felonies). During their deliberations, the jury amended one count of 1st degree unlawful transaction with a minor to the victim being under 18 (a class C felony).

In their penalty verdict, the jury recommended the maximum on all counts — 20 years for each class B felony, 10 years for the class C felony, and 5 years for each class D felony — and that all of the sentences be served consecutively.

By state law, however, the maximum amount of time Martin can serve in jail will be 70 years, and he will be elligible for parole in 20 years.

Martin was charged with having a sexual relationship over a 3-year-period with a victim who was 13 years old when the relationship began.

For more on this story, and more extensive trial coverage, please see the May 1 edition of the Local.