May 20, 2021
***Warning: The story below contains disturbing subject matter.
On Tuesday, detectives with Central Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested a Fresno man on felony child pornography charges. During the arrest, authorities reportedly came across one of the largest collections of child pornography they’d ever witnessed during their time in law enforcement.
Michael Martin, 55, was issued a search warrant, and when authorities entered his home they discovered a closet filled with more than 1,000 DVDs. Part of that discovery included videos of children being raped. One DVD case was labeled “Sex Slaves of Sodom,” according to the Fresno Bee.
The massive child pornography video collection was stacked from the floor to the ceiling, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives also reportedly seized electronic devices and books containing explicit photos and video.
Shortly thereafter, Martin was booked at Fresno County Jail on possession of child pornography. His bail was set at $40,000, and he posted bond shortly after booking. Martin has since been released from custody.
According to the sheriff’s office, detectives have not developed any information indicating Martin had any physical contact with children. However, as many sexual predators are also known to be consumers of child pornography (a subject we’ll examine in further detail below), the potential that Martin ever committed acts of assault or abuse against children can’t be ruled out.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about Michael Martin to contact Lieutenant Brandon Pursell at 559-600-8029. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.
A study of convicted internet sexual offenders published in the Psychology, Crime & Law journal reported that individuals spent more than eleven hours per week viewing pornographic images of children online.
Another study compared two groups of sex offenders:
The results confirmed that a majority of those who were convicted of only internet-based offenses also had committed real life sexual abuse of children. Additionally, the study found that real life offenders had committed an average of over 13 different child sex abuse offenses, regardless of whether or not they had formally been convicted of any real life incident.
Another study examined the beliefs of three groups:
While all groups were more likely to minimize the gravity of their offenses, the internet-only group was more likely than the contact-only group to think that children could make their own decisions on sexual involvement, and to believe that some children actually wanted (even “eagerly wanted,” according to the study) to engage in sexual activity with an adult.
A separate study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that “significant proportions” of various types of rapists and molesters had used hard-core pornography during their adolescence.
The statistical breakdown was as follows:
Current use of hard-core pornography was even greater for those groups:
About a third of sex offenders reported using pornography as a deliberate stimulus to commit their sexual offenses.
California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) offers survivors of childhood sexual abuse an opportunity to obtain justice and recover a financial damages award via a civil lawsuit. Under AB 218, the statute of limitations on childhood sex abuse crimes is temporarily lifted to allow survivors to come forward and file a claim. The three-year “lookback window” within AB 218 affords an unprecedented chance for any survivor of childhood sexual abuse to file a claim, regardless of how long ago the crime occurred.
This limited opportunity is only in effect through the end of 2022. Accordingly, survivors are encouraged to file a claim as soon as possible to ensure deadlines are met and the case is able to proceed without delay. If you would like to file a childhood sexual abuse claim against an individual or entity, contact Dordulian Law Group (DLG) today by calling 818-322-4056.
Our founder and president, Sam Dordulian, previously served as a sex crimes prosecutor in the position of Deputy District Attorney. He knows what is required to win a sex crime civil claim, and is here to help survivors who may have been left without legal recourse prior to the passage of AB 218.
To learn more about our Sex Crimes Division and SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts), contact us online for a free consultation. We’re the premier sex crimes firm in California, and have successfully taken on major organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America and Catholic Church.
If you have a childhood sexual abuse claim, don’t let this rare opportunity for justice pass by without coming forward. With a 98% success rate and proven results that have led to over $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts recovered for our clients, DLG is the best choice for a childhood sexual abuse civil lawsuit.
When you’re ready to take the first step towards justice, we’re ready to listen and guide you through the entire process with the individualized attention and care you deserve.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.