PROVIDENCE – The Woonsocket High School senior was unconscious when a fellow classmate sexually assaulted her in 2009, but the defendant claimed the act was consensual.
It took a Superior Court jury six hours to convict Dariel Martinez on Thursday, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said.
Martinez, 20, is to be sentenced on Jan. 18 on one count of first-degree sexual assault. The crime is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.
Martinez was 17 years old at the time of the assault but he was waived out of Family Court to be tried as an adult in Superior court. He remains on home confinement pending sentencing. His last known address was 131 Morin Heights Boulevard in Woonsocket.
During a week-long trial, prosecutors argued that the victim was “intoxicated and physically helpless” when Martinez performed oral sex on her.
Prosecutors said that on June 17, 2009, Martinez and the victim were both at a house party in Woonsocket when the crime took place. Martinez was a junior at WHS at the time.
During the party, the victim became intoxicated and was taken to an empty bedroom by some friends to rest.
Prior to the assault, Martinez was seen trying to enter the bedroom and was instructed by other partygoers to stay out.
Nevetheless, later that night Martinez and another male entered the bedroom where the victim was sleeping. The unidentified male held the door shut while Martinez performed oral sex on the unconscious victim, prosecutors said.
One of the victim’s friends managed to gain entry to the room and caught Martinez in the act. Martinez stopped when she screamed at him, at which point Martinez was removed from the premises.
The following day, the victim reported the incident to the Woonsocket Police Department. She was also examined at Landmark Medical Center, where doctors gathered evidence of a sexual assault.
Martinez admitted to investigators that he had performed a sexual act upon the victim, but he insisted that it was consensual, according to prosecutors. Now-retired Detective Ronald LaBreche led the investigation with assistance from Officer Joseph Zinni. Special Assistant Attorney General and chief of the Child Abuse Unit Shannon Signore prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.