Former Oregon State Hospital employee arrested for sexually abusing patients

Statesman Journal, May 6, 2014

Tony Martinez

Tony Martinez

A former Oregon State Hospital employee has been arrested for sexually abusing patients, the Statesman Journal learned Monday, May 5.

Tony Martinez was arrested April 24 by the Oregon State Police and is facing six counts of custodial misconduct, one of which is an A felony. The other five charges are C misdemeanors.

Court records show Martinez had two victims, both women.

The state Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations and the hospital are conducting their own investigations, spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King said Monday, but neither has been completed.

Martinez resigned Sept. 20 from his position at the hospital.

OSP spokesman Gregg Hastings could not provide the police report and other related documents by press time Monday.

Martinez is the second former employee to be accused in the past six weeks of having sexually abused patients at the hospital. A state investigation found that a registered nurse had carried on a relationship with a male patient that possibly lasted two years.

Jennifer Barren, 43, resigned Aug. 13 and did not receive severance pay, Gipson-King said.

The state’s investigation began after the Oregon State Police closed its own criminal investigation into the allegations against Barren on Sept. 13. She refused to be interviewed for the state investigation.

The concluding report from OAAPI said Barren and the patient were caught on a security camera six times going into a linen closet, for as many as seven minutes at a time.

It also found that the relationship apparently continued after Barren had resigned and after the investigation was underway.

Phone records showed Barren and the patient spoke on the phone at least 110 times, for a total of 113 hours, between Nov. 8 and Nov. 24.

The report concluded the ongoing relationship between Barren and the patient was enough to substantiate the allegations of sexual abuse.

“Although there is no direct evidence of actual sexual contact between Barren and (the patient), there is significant evidence of an inappropriate relationship, one that Barren was continuously warned about and previously disciplined for,” the report said.

Details regarding Martinez’s behavior were not immediately available. However, the state police investigated Barren as well and chose not to file charges against her. Neither she nor her victim chose to speak to investigators.

Martinez is scheduled to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. May 28 in Marion County Circuit Court. His bail is set at $45,000.