On Friday, December 6th, 36 year old Joshua Douglas Martorelli was sentenced to 28 years in prison after pleading guilty in August as a part of a plea deal.
Initially faced with eighteen counts of child pornography and enticing a minor starting in October 2016 and continuing through December 30, 2016, he pleaded guilty on August 7th to one count of production of child pornography and one count of attempted production of child pornography. The remaining charges were dropped.
Chief United States Chief District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder sentenced Martorelli to 28 years in prison and an additional 25 years of supervised release.
Court documents reveal that the investigation began in December of 2016 after a father of a then 11 year old girl found messages between Martorelli and his wife on Tumbler and Facebook where he expressed “expressed a sexual interest” in the girl.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the mother had secretly recorded her daughter in the shower and sent the footage to Martorelli at his demand. She alleged that he had threatened to tell her husband about their relationship if she did not comply. While she asserted that she only recorded the girl's face, the intent behind the recording was clear.
In January of 2017, the mother was charged with felony charges of secret peeping with a recording device, possessing photographic images from secret peeping, and three counts of crimes against nature.
That same month a search warrant was served at the residence of Martorelli while he was home.
Prosecutors said that “(Martorelli) stated that he was sick to his stomach and was ‘going to lose everything’" before not only confirming that he had received videos and images from the mother, but also disclosing that he had received similar messages from another mother.
Investigators spoke with that woman, a Mint Hill mother of a five year old boy. She confirmed to investigators that she had sent videos of herself performing sex acts on and with her young son. When asked why, she stated that Martorelli had threatened to turn her in to police if she refused.
A statement released from the US Attorney's Office for the Middle District of North Carolina stated, "Martorelli targeted children for sexual exploitation by forming romantic relationships with their mothers. He then cajoled the mothers to exploit their own children for his sexual gratification."
The mother of the 11 year old girl, in June of 2017, accepted a plea deal in which she pleaded guilty to secret peeping which the prosecution had agreed to drop down to a misdemeanor, and dropped the remaining charges. This was offered in exchange for her testifying against Martorelli.
Her sentence was 60 days in jail, suspended for two years of supervised release. As a condition of her release, she was also required to undergo a psychological evaluation issued by a state Department of Health and Human Services certified mental health provider and complete all of their evaluations, counseling, and recommended treatment and courses.