Source: The Toronto Star
Relationship with 11-year-old girl started in chat room and progressed
When girl went missing, police got man's cellphone number through her friend
The first Toronto man to be charged under a recently passed law aimed at Internet sexual predators has been found guilty of luring an 11-year-old girl over the Web.
Sergio Arana Martinez, 35, used his home computer to enter a teen chat room in September 2002, and started messaging the girl, giving her a false name and telling her he was 19.
Although 10 at the time, she told him she was 13.
Within a month, he had her in his east Toronto apartment as he attempted to have sex with her, while 50 officers worked to find the missing girl, according to a synopsis of the evidence read in court by crown prosecutor Sean Horgan.
In an unusual move in court last week, Arana Martinez did not contest the crown's evidence against him although he had pleaded not guilty to three counts: abduction of a person under age 16, sexual interference and using a computer to facilitate sexual interference with a person under age 14.
That particular offence was added to the Criminal Code on July 23, 2002.
"A large reason this happened is my client didn't want to put her through a lengthy cross-examination," said Arana Martinez's lawyer, Stacey Taraniuk.
With no defence evidence called, Mr. Justice Bruce Hawkins of Ontario Superior Court found him guilty on all three counts.
He faces two more unresolved charges: sexual assault and luring to commit sexual assault, Taraniuk said. Sentencing is set for Oct. 22.
The relationship between the two evolved from chat rooms to emails to phone calls, according to the crown synopsis.
Late in September 2002, the girl told Arana Martinez her 11th birthday was the next day, so he said he wanted to take her shopping at the Eaton Centre for her birthday.
Early in October, he met her at a public school near her home, and they talked for half an hour.
On Oct. 13, Arana Martinez arranged to meet the girl at her school and he then drove her to his apartment. Arana Martinez persuaded the girl to get into the back seat of a car with him. It was driven by a 31-year-old friend of his.
As he drove, the friend said, "Be careful, this one looks really young," according to evidence.
He dropped them at Arana Martinez's Pape Ave. apartment. Arana Martinez gave her a drink of Bailey's Irish Cream and took her to his bedroom, where he removed his clothing.
He removed her pants and underwear and unsuccessfully tried to have intercourse with her. She refused to engage in other sex acts he suggested.
Eventually, he fell asleep. She dressed and lay awake in his bed all night. Police, assisted by her girlfriend, located Arana Martinez's cellphone number, and a constable left him messages saying he wanted to talk to him about the missing girl.
Some 50 officers took part in the search. The media were alerted.
The next morning, Arana Martinez checked his voicemail and told the girl police were looking for him. He asked her to tell police that they had gone to a motel and that he had asked her for identification.
He dropped her off at Islington subway station. She went to a phone booth near her south Etobicoke home and called her girlfriend's house, where there were police officers. They found the girl at the phone booth, where she appeared fatigued and confused, some 15 hours after she first went missing from her family.
Arana Martinez's DNA was matched to semen in a vaginal swab taken from the girl.