DA to Fight Paralyzed Rapist's Release - NBC 7 San Diego

DA to Fight Paralyzed Rapist's Release



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    A quadriplegic convicted rapist serving a 157-year prison sentence could be released under a new plan to reduce prison costs, but opponents say he still poses a danger despite his physical condition.

    Steven Martinez, a former Clairemont construction worker, is paralyzed from the neck down and has been lying in a prison bed for about 10 years.

    He became paralyzed after another inmate stabbed him less than three years into his 1998 sentence for six violent felonies, including rape, kidnapping and battery.

    Since the stabbing, Martinez has been bedridden, and his medical care costs taxpayers about $660,000 a year. Prison guards also watch him 24 hours a day, costing $800,000 a year.

    Money Riding on Medical Parole Debate

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    For a certain brand of imprisoned convicts, paying the time is too costly to taxpayers, said SDSU Criminology Professor Paul Sutton, PhD.
    (Published Sunday, May 22, 2011)

    To cut the costs, the state wants to release Martinez on "medical parole" under his parents' supervision.

    But District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will oppose that request next week at the state's first medical parole hearing.

    Her office says Martinez remains a threat despite his inability to move his arms or legs.

    A state appeals court has already agreed, calling Martinez an "evil, angry, and violent person who may seek the aid of others to harm those who irritate him."

    Martinez was convicted of running over two women as they left Club Montage near Mission Hills and then kidnapping one of the victims to Fiest Island where he rapped her.

    Martinez claimed the sex was consensual and he was only trying to help her.

    A jury sided with the victim, who spoke to NBCSanDiego after the trial .

    "I'm not going to let him ruin my life," she said. "Not going to live in fear."