Home Local News Rivera Schatz: Martínez is innocent
Issued : Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:24 PM
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Rivera Schatz: Martínez is innocent

By CB Online Staff

Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz maintained his staunch defense of Héctor Martínez on Thursday, arguing that his former colleague did not commit the corruption crimes that landed him a four-year federal prison term.

Rivera Schatz reiterated his claim that Martínez is innocent, and said the former New Progressive Party senator’s defense team is preparing to appeal the sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Francisco Besosa.

Rivera Schatz said in a radio interview that Martínez has had, continues to have and always will have his support.

“We expect to go forward and for everything to end as it should,” the Senate chief said.

Martínez will also have to serve three years probation, complete a substance abuse program for an unspecified addiction and pay a fine of $17,500, Besosa said.

Co-defendant Juan Bravo, a local businessman and former head of Ranger American, one of the island’s largest security companies, was also sentenced to four years behind bars and ordered to pay a fine of $175,000 and perform 200 hours of community service.

In March 2011, a federal jury found Martínez guilty on bribery and conspiracy counts. However, Besosa dismissed his conspiracy conviction. The jury acquitted him of an obstruction of justice charge and a count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering.

Bravo, the former president of Ranger American security company, was convicted on all three charges he faced — bribery, conspiracy and the interstate commerce violation.

The two were convicted after Bravo in 2005 gave Martínez and convicted former Sen. Jorge de Castro Font an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas and boxing tickets in exchange for the passage of two bills that would have benefited the businessman financially.

Federal prosecutors had sought a prison term of between 15 and 19 years for Martínez and from 10 to 15 years for Bravo.

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