Adoption advocate in Honolulu jail on sex charges


HONOLULU — An adoption advocate has been jailed at Oahu Community Correctional Center on child sex-assault charges, including allegedly giving a 16-year-old girl hard liquor and then assaulting her after she fell asleep.

Louis Martinez is the former executive director of an organization that encourages adoption of foster children. He was charged earlier this month of attempted sexual assault involving a girl who was 11 years old in 2011. Last year, he was charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, allegedly in her sleep after he gave her three to five shots of hard liquor, Deputy Prosecutor Chastity Imamura told a judge last year. She said the teenager was suicidal because of the alleged assault and has received psychological treatment.

Martinez was extradited to Honolulu from the mainland earlier this year after he fled while on supervised release, Deputy Prosecutor Lisa De Mello said.

He couldn’t be reached at the jail, where he’s being held on $400,000 bail. He has pleaded not guilty. His public defender couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday

Using the name David Louis, Martinez, 38, opened Heart Gallery Hawaii in 2005 and then became executive director of Florida-based Heart Gallery of America in 2009, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. The organization encourages people to adopt foster children by taking photos of the children and displaying them publicly. The Hawaii chapter is no longer operating.

He released a book he wrote in 2006 titled, “Scars That Can Heal,” about his experiences growing up in foster care on the mainland.