JROTC instructor at Casa Grande school accused of luring teen girl

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Anthony Martinez (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Anthony Martinez (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
Anthony Martinez (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Anthony Martinez (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

A 53-year old man is facing charges after allegedly exchanging inappropriate text messages with a 15-year-old girl who was a student at the Casa Grande high school at which he worked.

The Casa Grande Police Department said officers arrested Anthony Martinez Sunday after he turned himself in; he was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center.

Staff at Vista Grande High School, where Martinez was employed, " were made aware of potential inappropriate text messages between Martinez and the minor," according to Thomas Anderson of the Casa Grande Police Department.

The school contacted the police who immediately opened an investigation.

"Detectives have worked diligently to conduct a thorough investigation and, based on the content of shared text messages, were able to identify sufficient evidence to charge Martinez," Anderson said in a new release.

Martinez, a retired sergeant major who reportedly has resigned his position as a Marine Corps Junior ROTC instructor at the school, is facing a charge of luring a minor for sexual exploitation. As of Tuesday afternoon, Martinez was still listed on the school's website as the contact for the Semper Fi Club. According to his LinkedIn profile, he had been at the school since July 2011. Before that, he served with Recruiting Station Phoenix for more than three years.

It's not clear how long Martinez and the teen had been texting, nor is it known at this point if Martinez had similar communications with other students, but police said the investigation is ongoing.

If you know anything about this incident, CGPD would like you to call Detective D. Linehan at 520-421-8711 ext. 6054.

Part of the Casa Grande Union High School District, Vista Grande High School opened in 2009 and serves nearly 2,000 students in grades nine-12.

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