Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Illegal immigrant from Mexico arrested for allegedly selling daughter on the Internet

Police said Marcelino de Jesus Martinez was arrested after he approached them because the 18-year-old he sold his daughter to as a wife was failing to pay up. Authorities in Greenfield, a small rural town in California’s central coast, said Martinez was not aware of US law prohibiting arranged marriages involving underage teenagers and children. He was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. Police also arrested Margarito de Jesus Galindo, 18, the man Martinez allegedly struck the deal with, on suspicion of statutory rape. The agreement apparently included a payment of $16,000, 150 cases of beer, 50 cases of Gatorade, a sports drink, 100 cases of soda, six cases of meat and two cases of wine in exchange for marriage to Martinez’s daughter. “I just don’t think it occurred to him that he was breaking any laws,” Greenfield police chief Joe Grebmeier said. He added that cultural difference could possibly explain the transaction. “Different communities have different cultures... Some things are legal in Mexico and not legal here.” Police believe the 14-year-old girl, who is under California’s legal age of consent and cannot legally marry, went willingly with Galindo. But after the payments stopped, Martinez, 36, contacted the police to get his daughter back. He initially told police she had run away from home. Mr Grebmeier said Martinez and Galindo, who are both from Oaxaca, Mexico, could faced deportation as illegal immigrants. He added that he wanted to ensure members of the farming community, where rumors of arranged marriages are common, understood they were breaking California law. “From what I understand this doesn't violate Mexican law or their customs where they came from,” Mr Grebmeier said. “We want to send a strong message with regard to the law on sex with minors and the sale of minors into marriage – that it’s illegal.”


Police: Man sold teen daughter into marriage for cash, beer, meat

1 comment:

Average Joe said...