Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Alleged Hate Rapist of Terlingua Teen Out On Hush-Hush Bail

(images courtesy of Towleroad)

Brewster County, Texas – An alleged rapist and kidnapper of a gender non-conforming 18-year-old boy was quietly released on bail in Big Bend Country before the Christmas holidays. The Unfinished Lives Project has learned that Daniel Martinez, 46 at the time of the alleged kidnapping and rape of a Terlingua teen in December 2009, was granted release on bail by Alpine Judge and Justice of the Peace Jerry Sotello on December 20, 2010. According to the report of Clarence Russeau, an educator and community organizer in Alpine, the accused rapist was granted bail of $20,000 for each of three counts: kidnapping, aggravated assault, and arson. The victim was not notified by the court, the justice of the peace, or District Attorney Jesse Gonzales Jr. that Martinez had been released from jail, and he only found out the news in the first week of January from counselors associated with the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend. According to most recent reports, the second accused assailant, Kristopher Buchanan, 27 at the time of the rapes, is still being held in jail pending court action, though his name appears nowhere on a docket.  As Unfinished Lives has reported, the young victim who was kidnapped from the Boat House Bar, was allegedly spirited out to a remote desert residence by Martinez and Buchanan, where his car was torched and he was repeatedly raped by the pair until he escaped three miles on foot through rugged terrain wearing no more than pajama bottoms, a torn tee-shirt, and flip-flops with no socks in freezing temperatures. Sources in Alpine say that the deteriorating health of Martinez was given as an excuse for the release. Martinez reportedly has suffered two heart attacks in jail since his arrest, and one source said that Martinez’s short life expectancy prompted the leniency of officers of the court. Martinez has been ordered to appear before the court monthly to establish that he has not absconded, but the proximity of Brewster County to the U.S.-Mexico border casts doubt on the wisdom of the decision to let an untried defendant go. The porous border around Terlingua has become an issue of national concern in recent years, and surreptitious travel back and forth across the Rio Grande in the desolate Big Bend country is a regular occurrence. Close observers of District Attorney Gonzales and the local courts have voiced concerns about Buchanan’s situation, as well. Buchanan’s name has been dropped from the January court docket. In the recent past, DA Gonzales has surprised plaintiffs and the public by making sudden plea bargain deals with defendants whose names, like Buchanan’s, had been dropped from the docket of the court. Since Buchanan faces three charges courts in two other counties, Terlingua citizens fear that he may be seconded to those jurisdictions in a sort of judicial shell game, postponing a trial in Brewster County for months and years to come. The inside game being played by court officials and law enforcement in Brewster County and the 83rd Judicial District of Texas seems to have unreasonably stalled justice for a young man who has suffered sexual assault, kidnapping, and destruction of his property, all because he was perceived to be gay. Does the safety and security of gender non-conforming youth mean anything to officers of the court in the largest county in Texas?  Does it take a hate crime murder to motivate the legal system in Deep South Texas to take sexual assault against minors seriously?  Where is justice, a right to a speedy trial, and the rule of law in Big Bend country?  It is hard for us in the Unfinished Lives Project Team to see any sufficient rationale for denying Martinez and Buchanan their day in court for so long, and for leaving a youth harmed so grievously in limbo for well over a year.

January 21, 2011 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Brewster County Texas, gay teens, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Kidnapping and sexual assault, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, rape, Terlingua, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. This is horrifying and he better think twice before stepping foot back in South County. This community takes care of her own, and we will not tolerate violent psychopaths. It’s a big desert, and there are a lot of vultures.

    Comment by Sara Allen Colando | August 26, 2011

    • No excuses the rapist should be behind bars!!

      Comment by bobbi | January 19, 2013

  2. Is this Daniel and Kristopher behind bars? well they should be!!

    Comment by bobbi | January 19, 2013

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: