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Molester in Jail on New Charges

His earlier case cut others' terms, parole

By Coleman Cornelius, Denver Post Northern Colorado Bureau
Originally published in The Denver Post, December 7, 2001

GREELEY A convicted child molester whose case led to reduced jail and parole time for about 1,500 sex offenders appeared in court Thursday to face new charges that he sexually assaulted a girl he taught in a Bible class at a Fort Lupton church.

Vance Martin, 35, surrendered to authorities at the Weld County Jail this week after eluding authorities for two months.

Martin taught a youth Bible class at Living Water Assembly of God evangelical church. He is accused of assaulting the 14-year-old girl in late September after inviting her to watch videos at his house.

He fled shortly after the incident and was thought to be in Mississippi, where he was on parole, said Fort Lupton Police Chief Al Sharon.

Martin was convicted of sexual assault on a child in 1994 and appealed his parole term. That led to a landmark Colorado Supreme Court ruling that reduced others' parole and prison terms.

The July ruling resulted from conflicting state laws.

Martin was a member of the Fort Lupton church and had been living in town for nearly a year, but church members did not know he was a sex offender. Colorado officials did not know of his exact whereabouts, and Mississippi officials thought he was living there.

During a court appearance Thursday in Greeley, Martin was advised of four charges against him: child sexual assault, sexual assault by someone in a position of trust, habitual sex offense and failure to register as a sex offender.

Martin asked to be represented by a publicly paid defense attorney and was ordered to reappear in court Dec. 21.

He is being held at the Weld County Jail, with bail set at $50,000.

A Fort Lupton police investigation led to the new charges against Martin.


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