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Judge dismisses ethics charge alleging improper Martinez communications with ex-juror

By: - August 27, 2019 9:53 am
Juan Martinez

Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez during the Jodi Arias trial. Photo by Associated Press | Pool photo

In addition to the sexual harassment allegations that the judge in his ethics case dismissed on Friday, prosecutor Juan Martinez also won’t have to face a separate charge related to improper communications with a dismissed juror during the blockbuster Jodi Arias murder trial.

William O’Neil, the presiding disciplinary judge of the Arizona Supreme Court, dismissed the charge against Martinez on Friday. O’Neil is presiding over a hearing on an ethics complaint filed against the Maricopa County prosecutor by the State Bar of Arizona.

According to the Bar’s complaint, a dismissed juror, identified as Juror 3, obtained Martinez’s cell phone number and began calling and texting with him about the Arias case. According to the complaint, Martinez queried the woman about specific jurors. At one point he became cautious about discussing the case, warned the former juror that he could get in trouble because of their communications and warned her not to “use names.” 

The woman sent him nude photos of herself in an attempt to start a sexual relationship with him, and asked him to meet her for lunch or dinner. He declined an offer to meet and eventually stopped answering her calls. Martinez never reported the communications from the woman.

Don Wilson, Martinez’s attorney, had asked O’Neil for a summary judgment ruling that would scrap the charge before the prosecutor’s pending ethics trial.

The dismissal of the charge regarding Juror came in the same order in which O’Neil threw out several charges alleging that Martinez had sexually harassed female colleagues at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. O’Neil sided with Martinez’s attorney, who argued that ethics rules for attorneys don’t cover behavior in the workplace, only toward other attorneys, clients and the court.

Martinez still faces charges that he leaked confidential information about a juror to a blogger who was covering the Arias trial, that he had a sexual relationship with the blogger, and that he harassed a court reporter who was working on the trial.

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Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”