Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (June 18) secured the guilty plea of a Mississippi man who raped his former girlfriend at her place of work in New Orleans East in January 2017.
Phillip W. Martin of Jayess, Miss., averted his scheduled trial Tuesday by pleading guilty as charged to second-degree rape. Under terms of a plea agreement approved by his victim and ad hoc Criminal District Judge Dennis Waldron, Martin was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, with credit for time served since his March 2017 arrest.
Had he been convicted at trial, Martin, 38, would have faced a sentence ranging from 5 to 40 years.
Martin and his victim, who gave an impact statement to the court on Tuesday, had been involved in a relationship for much of the previous 10 years, even living together for nearly eight years. But the woman ended the relationship about two years before the sexual assault because of physical abuse by Martin that she reported to police.
But Martin continued calling and visiting the woman, attempting to rekindle their relationship. She continued to decline, even up to the morning of Jan. 26, 2017, when he sent text messages and then showed up uninvited to her place of work, where she was alone inside the operations booth of a bridge along Chef Menteur Highway.
The victim told detectives Martin barged inside the facility, grabbed her by the neck and raped her. He struck the woman several times in the back of the head before leaving her bloodied and injured on the floor.
Martin previously pleaded guilty to felony domestic battery involving strangulation of the same woman for an incident in 2011. Former Criminal District Judge Terry Alarcon imposed an 18-month suspended sentence, 18 months of probation and a requirement to attend anger management classes in that case.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins prosecuted the case.
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