I was surprised when my attorney told me my trial would begin on October 17. On that day we would select the jury but because of the Court’s involvement in current cases, my actual trial would not begin until the 29th. The selection of the jury had to happen, then, because according to the clock which began when I was arrested, I was running out of time and the Government has to have you tried. They cannot hold onto you indefinitely. The motion to have me evaluated stopped the clock for a considerable amount of time. Once we determined the mental evaluation could not be effectively used for a defense but as an option for sentencing, if found guilty, the show was now ready to go forward. Had I persisted in wanting the mental diminished capacity, then the government could have had me evaluated, taking additional time, even to the extent of my being sent to the mainland and this could have added easily another six months!
I learned early on whatever your imaginings might be regarding trial, testimony and procedure, is not often the case, especially in the Federal judicial system and I had to begin forgetting about early ideas and rely on my attorney’s expertise and have confidence in her ability to run an adequate defense. This was not easy for me because I’m not accustomed to letting someone take charge of the affairs of my life with my playing the co-pilot. It is a very unnerving situation. You could consult and advise them but pretty much of what will happen will occur between the Judge, Prosecutor and your attorney, behind closed doors and over the phone, and it may not necessarily be reported to you in total. This is where faith is really tried. If one does not have a good, honest and hardworking attorney, especially against a career-oriented, motivated prosecutor, you will be crushed. Thankfully, this was not my case. Other inmates told me, from the beginning, my attorney was good. They saw her in action. I had to come to the conclusion, early, she was given to me by God and in trusting Him to handle my affairs I had to learn, learn, to trust her. She doesn’t get carte blanche, mind you, but I had to believe she was handling my affairs for my benefit.
I was a little taken aback when I learned the Government was going to use several experts, two for computer technology and although we had access to others she decided not to hire them but let me speak, for myself, since I knew what I did. She felt confident my own expertise regarding software and computing systems with my many years involvement would be adequate. My only concern would be the need to advise her during their testimony to give her what she needed to contradict, challenge and raise doubts to those professionals who would be quite impressive, against me, scoring one for the underdog—me!
One major hurdle I had was in not using my previous criminal history which the Prosecutor was motioning the Court to use. Normally previous acts, if not related, cannot be used in a jury trial because it could prejudice the jury’s decision. I saw it differently. I thought by allowing the jury to hear of my long sexually related history would give credence to my involvement in sexual matters and would answer the question, quite sufficiently, as to why I was there in the first place. I did not want it to appear I was some middle-aged guy sitting around at home in pursuit of illegal matter. I needed them to understand because of my sexual interests, I would become exposed to this situation and act upon it. My attorney was tenacious in keeping this away.
Now, according to her, we were ready. I met with her the day before to discuss last minute details. I felt somewhat more comfortable when I saw her preparatory work done for me. It was amazing how much material she digested, cataloged and organized. Along with her was her investigator, I met previously, when I thought of a good defense move by establishing a relationship with local police to bolster my intent on turning over the videotape to the police. This is how it came about.
On September 9, 2002, I sent an email to the undercover agent, not known to me at the time, telling him not to send me the videotape due to the fact my apartment had been burgled and I was back home with my wife and wanted to make a good-faith effort in getting my marriage back on track. In this I was truthful. However, because of his insistence and persistence, it was on that day, none other, when I decided when I received the tape and was going to give it to the authorities. He angered me by not following his own procedure and I was going to do this to get back at him (vengeance is mine, saith the Lord!). When I was in route to pick up the tape, I noticed a police car not too far from the post office and it was my intent to reach him and give him the tape to give it to a particular sergeant, I knew, during the course of my business dealings because of my job. I knew he’d be out of the station until the following morning. It was my intention, when I decided to get the tape, Wednesday, September 11, 2002, to do two job related duties, then on my way back home stop at the mall to get a key made and pick up a birthday card for my wife, then head next door to the central post office and contact the U.S. Inspector’s Office. If, by chance, they had no one there at the time, I planned to go across the street where the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, located across the street from the post office and certainly someone would see me there and hear my situation, then home to take my wife to dinner. She was off that day and I wanted to leave work early, being able to do so due to my job’s freedom to design my day, and I could get a jump on the wicked rush hour traffic.
When I was arrested, it became an issue of “intent”. How do you prove what you ‘intended” to do? So, to bolster it, I needed to establish a relationship with police, which I had, to give credence to my “intention”. I was floored when the sergeant, who I met on two separate occasions, did not remember me, or our previous involvement! The thought of having contacted the station, which I did many times to leave messages, would show cause, and certainly there would be phone records, vis-à-vis, the investigator. As it turns out, I believed I would have had several occurring after the first email in July, which would at least establish an attempt to make the police aware, even if I knew it to be not true. Again, I was floored when the phone records were pulled and during the time when the emails started and my calls to the station, there was not one call, and I made at least twelve or more, but unfortunately not during this time! It was an attempt to prove my intent, or at least give credit of what I could have been thinking. Using a lie to prove the truth doesn’t work! So, I had no one in my corner. No witnesses to be called the Prosecutor would not have already spoken to and have for themselves, which I could refute their testimony because no one really knows what someone else is doing unless made privy and I did not.
The night before was filled with anxiety and I did not need to be awakened by the guard. I was already awake and dressed to go. Previously, I had not been out of the building since the divorce four months ago, and then only once before that the previous November, so it was nice to be out even if it meant being shackled and watching the normal world through secured windows of heavy steel in a fast moving van. It’s a semblance of being “free”.
The halls of justice, especially at the federal level, are awesome. Major decisions are made here. Not only by the common criminal but also political people and people well-connected are tried in these courtrooms. It was sobering for me to walk into the courtroom, escorted by two Federal Marshals, and it’s full with almost a hundred prospective jurors, who observe you as you come through the door, and although they know somewhat about the reason they are there, they definitely know why you’re there. It becomes a game of how to act. I made it a purpose to act normal. Act normal? How does one “act” normal? But it was a thought not to smile too much, not give too much eye contact to anyone, and if it were a woman who was attractive, hardly any at all. Wait! Wouldn’t that be abnormal, not to look at an attractive woman? This was not going to be easy. Don’t want them to see me as some sex-starved maniac—I’m locked up fourteen months with no sex! Limited visibility of seeing women! Can’t look! Sexual case! Yeah, act normal—no way!
The courtroom is certainly impressive. I’ve been in courtrooms, many in fact, but those were nothing like this one. Huge was the word which came to mind. Since I’m not good with measurements let it suffice to say it’s simply “huge”. The Judge, himself, sit high above, a three level tier, where the court reporter and assistant are seated. All the chairs are quite comfortable except for the public gallery. What impressed me, because it is my field, the computer technology. Monitors are everywhere and the latest audio/visual equipment, but my reverie was quickly returned as the selection process began by the Judge posing questions to begin weeding those unsuitable. Once a number is selected, the prosecutor and defense begin the process of selection, remembering what one did, family situation, past expertise with criminal types, and in my case, proficiency in computing technology as pertaining to the Internet, occurs in rounds. They get so many to strike, then we strike, then back again, several times, each wanting to get rid of the ones who will do the most harm to your cause keeping in mind the other side is going about the same goal. Then it’s done. A jury of twelve is selected with three alternates. I wanted a jury composed of at least six men, preferably my age group, married with advanced computer skills and was strong in email usage and, of course, spoke English well. I was too afraid of having an over balance of women. I thought having so would sink me since most women are against anything pornographic, never mind if their husbands sneak to use the family computer for such purposes. I didn’t need them to take out their frustrations on me! When we were finished, I had ten men: two college students, hopefully radically-minded and against societal norms, some married, two grandfathers like me and two women, I pretty much didn’t care what they thought. My alternates were also men. As far as juries go I thought I had the best in terms of either getting an acquittal if not at least a hung jury, which I’d take any time over a guilty verdict. I was quite pleased with the day’s work and grateful my attorney had me involved in the process. The trial was set for October 29, 2003. Now, I’m ready.
Or, am I?
The Lord began dealing with me more directly. I began to waiver wondering if I should “go to trial” as instructed by the three words giving me in the beginning, or avoid it by admission of guilt. I saw evidence of His abilities regarding my battle with lust and masturbation and also regarding Mayra. I knew this one would be tantamount to even greater power and I’d walk right out of that courtroom. I began to vacillate. Words I heard from Mayra, said to her brother, who inquired to what happened, “He must have been looking for something” filled my mind. I began examining each and every situation resulting in my being here and using Scripture, trying to measure my action against truth and reason. I know without a doubt God brought me here, even before the act of getting that tape. I know, without a doubt, He gave me warnings which would have prevented my being incarcerated. All I had to do was simply go home the night He told me to call Mayra. Mayra told me to come home. It was what I wanted. I believe it to be His direction my computer, related to my sexuality, was missing as the first step of His healing and saving power and under normal circumstances, since it was in my mind to go home there were no reason for me to stay in the apartment without one. The fact I stayed, in light of this, shows how demented I had become. How strong my addiction to Crack was. My struggle with my sexuality was directly in relation with my drug usage, albeit I did not “then” understand fully how and why. I began examining every incident regarding what occurred which led up to my arrest. I had to be honest in what really happened. Within my heart, I knew I wanted the tape, my curiosity peeking. Lust had me going from one thing to the other, deepening itself into matters far from being wholesome, into depths I never traveled before. Admittedly, I did want to give it to the police on Monday, September 9, 2002, when he did not follow my instruction to not send it to me. Why? I moved back home and did not want to forge ahead with something new which would have been gravely problematic. If I remained in my apartment, would I have still gotten the tape? The answer,
Would I have ordered the whole series if it were true, in what the content the provider said,
Could I have become addicted to this new form of sexual depravity?
Could it have become a part of my drug experience?
Could I have gone on to other means to perhaps secure what I saw and try having a personal and up close experience?
Then why can’t you admit it? Why do you need twelve people to make the decision you know you are able to make on your own?
God moved me into the next phase ,
“Who Are You?”
and given the definition as, “Your character is defined by the choices you make.” I decided to give God my total life and my choices would have to be representative of that decision, redefining who I really am today, affecting what I will do in the future. But, how do I accept my responsibility and yet remain true to the third word, “Go to trial?”
The day before the actual trial was to begin, Wednesday, October 29th, my attorney met with me again. She closed her books, cleared the table or air, so to speak, and asked me, point blank, what it was I wanted to do. She knew from the beginning I wanted my day in court to tell my side of the story. In truth, that side had been a mixture of lies to ease the whole seriousness of the matter and to possibly get out of any future results like probation, attending meetings, having another dent in my record. But, what was the truth?
I read one of my books which took me to John 18:37, 38
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
It could be said of Jesus that no fault was found in Him but I surely could not hold that characteristic. My taking this new stand of life, wanting to do what is proper and pleasing to God, meant doing what is proper, regardless of whatever the circumstances. My attorney suggested she thought I did not have to go through a trial, to have it established what I did. I know what I did. If I wanted to tell someone my situation, I could do so, in court, without a trial, but to examine the issue truthfully. “Was the items in my possession?” Again, the answer could only be one,
I made the hardest decision, ever, in my life, somewhat confused and thinking I’m letting God down because from the beginning He would do something, for me, to prove I…what? Did not do this? Cover-up my fault? He does not work this way. But, in my heart, there was a place I was beginning to experience, making the text I had been repeating daily for all these months to be true:
“Be not anxious about anything…”
I left visiting with my attorney and called Mayra and reported she did not have to worry about being in court the following day and just go to work because there would not be any trial. She was relieved and I was, too. I did keep my word to her from the beginning and that was not to cause her to have to go through a court experience testifying against me.
My attorney made me aware, she also received the remaining evidence from the Prosecutor, which should have been ours from the beginning and in it now saw I was truthful in telling the agent I did not want the tape! I saw another window of opportunity open. If it could be shown the Government did something wrong, it would void any conviction. I could do my part, being truthful, and let the Government deal with their mistake by bringing about a vacated judgment against me!
The following day I was brought back to the courtroom, and now with only the Prosecutor and their various agencies, United States Customs, Postal Inspector, even the undercover agent from Cleveland was there, and no jury, I changed my plea to “guilty”. The Judge went through a series of questions and statements to make sure I was fully aware of my decision. I asked to address the Court and permitted to do so. This is what I said:
“Your Honor, I think that since I saved everyone here about a week’s worth of work, that would allow me to speak freely for about five minutes or so.
When I first received the first indictment, and it had the United States, I’m a little nervous so if I stumble over words you will forgive me, the United States of America versus Roy Martin. That is a very sobering and solemn experience. In fact, Saddam Hussein and Osama didn’t do very well and I had to question myself, well, who am I.
And that’s what this whole situation has been for the last 14 months. Who am I? Really it has been Roy Martin versus Roy Martin. And it goes back to the struggle that I have had for a very, very long time.
I separated from my wife in August of 2002, because I had some problems. I needed to just be away to make some very hard decisions. And during that time I made some decisions.
On September 3rd of last year I contacted my wife, and I called her and I said to her that I loved her, but prior to making that phone call I needed to make some commitments. And one of the commitments was, I went to my personal computer and deleted everything. And then what I did was I called her and let her know that I wanted her to come back home. And I suffered and I struggled and I did not know how I could accomplish the goals that I had set out, but the thing that I had in my heart was the willingness to do so.
On September 9th, I just made a statement that I need to stop things. On September 11th, Inspector Torres got involved in my life and I appreciated that, because I needed help. I saw an officer on my way to the post office. And it was my attempt to try to get him, but I’m glad that he was there.
And I just want to say to you I appreciate what you did. You are part of the intervention. The gentleman from Cleveland, that’s my home, and so ironic that someone from my home would be involved in this and I appreciate your efforts on his behalf.
Madam Prosecutor, you helped me during this time. You were very tenacious, and you dug and you dug, and brought things to my attention that I needed to work on. And in these 14 months that I have spent here, the other inmates they joke, and virtually for the last nine months I have been alone in my cell that’s normally a crowded institution, but I’ve been alone. And no one wants to be with me because I want to read.
My whole purpose is not to get involved in stopping the symptoms of my problem. I want to find out what was the cause of these problems that I was having. And during these 14 months, instead of going and watching television, being in the recreation yard, playing checkers or chess, I studied. And I have read more than 172 books; sixteen self-help books that I have worked…I have written more than three hundred pages of self-help analyses work that I have sent home for further review.
I have been asked by a publisher of a national distribution to write my story. Four hundred pages, legal pages back and forth has been written. They are very satisfied with the first two chapters and they want me to continue. I have put in more than sixteen hundred and seventh-two hours in work, in order to make myself better. If that was given to be one hour per week on a psychiatrist’s chair, that would be 43 years that I’ve actually put in this 14 month period of time.
What I want to let you know is that, where I am today is called a penitentiary the root word is penitent, and that’s exactly what I have been doing for these last 14 months. And I want to tell you that I appreciate every day. It might sound crazy, you might want to have me evaluated again, but the point of the matter is that I have enjoyed every day of this experience.
I made a decision yesterday, and that was I’m going to let this new person speak. And the first thing he has to do is he has to take the responsibility because I am 47 and it’s been too long. Forty years of running and hiding and not being able to be open, but now I can. And I feel good about that. I slept so good last night, and that’s why I can stand here today and say, yes, I did those things and I am sorry.
And as a result, I need a little bit more time because what I did now, accept responsibility, this new road that I’m on, I’ve never been down this road. I need a little bit more time in order to experience this new way. I need supervision. I want it. And in fact, I need the accountability because, face it, people go backwards. And I don’t want to do that anyway. I have too much to look forward to.
And in closing, I just wanted to say that millions have tried to make it, but I’m going to be one of the ones that did. Thank you.”
As you can imagine, it was pretty much broken up and not by any result or lack of eloquence on my part, but because whenever I hit upon a subject my attorney did not want me to broach upon, she would step on my foot! I felt like a dicta-recorder with a foot pedal one could push fast forward to get to the next part.
My attorney made mention to the Court there were matters of exculpatory evidence which was withheld from us until the day before and the Prosecutor immediately rose to defend her position. When the prosecution was asked what the recommendation of sentence would be she informed the Court they would request thirty months. The Judge asked me how long had I been detained and I informed him fourteen months. He made me aware he could sentence me and the Prosecutor could appeal his decision, and probably would. I took that to mean he was leaning favorably once he had everything in front of him including the pending Probation Department report. I learned there was a required statute period of court supervision for three years, which made me groan inwardly. After all being said, the date for sentencing was set for January 30, 2004 at 9:30am.
When I was escorted out of the courtroom, I heard my name called. It was the undercover agent who wished me luck. I replied “thank you” but knowing I would never need the luck he spoke of. I was being blessed far more than what any luck could do for me. On September 3, 2002, I asked God to save me. God is able because of the magnificent power He has—not luck. That’s why I was there today. Seeing His wondrous works being performed—for me!