SALEM, Ore. – A Mexican man who has been deported from the United States more than a dozen times was sentenced Friday in Oregon to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to sodomy, assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery and other charges in separate attacks on two women.
Sergio Jose Martinez received the sentence Friday in Portland, said his lawyer, Jonathan Sarre.
Just a day earlier, another man in the United States illegally and who had also been deported multiple times, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was found not guilty by a jury in San Francisco in the shooting death of a woman, in a case that touched off a national immigration debate.
“Unfortunately, after Zarate got acquitted, Martinez is now the boogeyman of the face of immigration (debate),” Sarre said in a phone interview.
A week before the attacks, Martinez was freed from jail in Portland where he had served time for interfering with police and providing a false birth date. He was let go despite a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to hold him longer so the agency could take him into custody.
Oregon became America’s first sanctuary state when it adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws.