ARIZONA NEWS

Arias prosecutor Martinez disbarred in Arizona over ethics case

Jul 17, 2020, 3:16 PM | Updated: 3:22 pm
(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle, Pool)...
(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle, Pool)
(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle, Pool)

PHOENIX — A prosecutor best known for winning a conviction in the Jodi Arias murder case was disbarred Friday in Arizona, less than a week after sexual harassment allegations in an ethics case against him were reinstated.

Juan Martinez filed a consent to disbarment that was subsequently accepted by the presiding disciplinary judge of the Arizona Supreme Court, according to a press release from the Arizona State Bar.

The action effectively ended the case against Martinez, who was accused of making sexually inappropriate comments to female law clerks at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

“The State Bar believes this is a just outcome and appreciates the time and effort of both the State Bar lawyers and staff who litigated this case,” the State Bar said in the release.

The sexual harassment claims against Martinez in the case were reinstated Monday.

In the ethics case, Martinez was accused of leaking the identity of a juror in the Arias case to a blogger with whom he was having a sexual relationship and lying to investigators about it.

He also was accused of frequently staring at a court reporter during the Arias trial and making comments about her appearance that made her feel uncomfortable.

The ethics complaint alleged Martinez would stare at the chests of some female employees in the county prosecutor’s office and look them up and down as they walked away.

The complaint said some female employees would hide in the bathroom, duck into cubicles or engage in busy work to avoid encountering Martinez.

Martinez was fired earlier this year after 32 years as a prosecutor and is appealing his termination.

Earlier this year, Martinez was reprimanded by the state Supreme Court for violating an ethical rule at three other death penalty trials.

The court had concluded that Martinez’s efforts to elicit sympathy for victims and fear of defendants, and his failure to follow court rulings had jeopardized the integrity of the legal system.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arias prosecutor Martinez disbarred in Arizona over ethics case