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Sentencing to Serve crew leader faces charges of coercing prisoner to have sex

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct the job title of Michael John Martin. His correct job title was a Sentencing to Service crew leader with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

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Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct the job title of Michael John Martin. His correct job title was a Sentencing to Service crew leader with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

 

GRANITE FALLS - A Sentencing to Service crew leader who supervised Yellow Medicine County jail prisoners on a Sentence to Service work crew is facing charges of coercing a prisoner to have sex with him in exchange for special privileges.

Michael John Martin, 47, of Wood Lake, faces six felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

During a bail hearing Tuesday in Yellow Medicine County District Court, unconditional bail was set at $100,000 and conditional bail was set at $10,000.

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According to the complaint filed against him, from August of 2016 through May of 2017, Martin allegedly asked a female prisoner to perform oral sex on him or have intercourse with him on several occasions.

The woman was an inmate at the Yellow Medicine County Jail for several short stints during that 10-month period and was under the supervision of Martin when working in the community on a Sentence to Service crew.

The complaint said Martin, who is an employee of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, would get the woman alone and ask for sex.

Sometimes those acts were rewarded with special privileges not given to other prisoners, including cigarettes and pop.

Martin allegedly took the woman to see her kids for short visits at her house but said it would "cost her," which meant demands to perform sexual acts.

On at least one occasion, the woman said the act took place in the Sentence to Service van.

Martin allegedly warned the woman not to tell anyone about their sexual relationship because she would get in trouble and that he was a person with power and "knew people."

The woman said she was afraid that if she did not do what Martin wanted that she would get into trouble at the jail or not be taken to see her kids.

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The woman entered treatment May 30 at Project Turnabout, and when she told a counselor about being asked to perform sex on a corrections officer while incarcerated, the counselor informed law enforcement.

During a June 3 interview with a sheriff's deputy, Martin allegedly said the woman had performed oral sex on him three times, all in April of 2017, while she was working on the sentence to service crew with him.

He denied having sexual intercourse with her or taking her to see her children but allegedly said he took her to her house to get things.

Martin is scheduled to make an initial court appearance June 19.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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