December 9, 2019
A 36-year-old man in North Carolina persuaded the women he dated to film themselves engaging in sex acts with their own children and secretly record them showering, prosecutors said Friday.
He’ll be 64 when he gets out of prison.
A federal judge sentenced Joshua Douglas Martorelli, of Salisbury, to 28 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
“Martorelli targeted children for sexual exploitation by forming romantic relationships with their mothers,” according to the release. “He then cajoled the mothers to exploit their own children for his sexual gratification.”
The father of one of the victims first brought the abuse to light in December 2016.
Court documents show the father of a then 11-year-old girl found text, Tumbler and Facebook messages between Martorelli and the mother in which Martorelli “expressed a sexual interest” in the child.
The victims and their parents are not named.
He brought the information to an attorney, who prosecutors said made a report to Child Protective Services. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office then started investigating.
According to a detective who interviewed the mother, she secretly recorded her 11-year-old daughter in the shower at Martorelli’s behest out of fear Martorelli would tell the girl’s father about their relationship.
Deputies subsequently searched his house in Salisbury, roughly 40 miles north of Charlotte, while he was home in January 2017.
“(Martorelli) stated that he was sick to his stomach and was ‘going to lose everything’ ” before disclosing that detectives would find more messages on his phone involving another child victim, prosecutors said.
N.C. State Bureau of Investigation agents spoke with the mother of the second victim, a Mint Hill woman who admitted to sending videos of herself performing sex acts on and with her 5-year-old son, prosecutors said.
She said Martorelli had “threatened to report her to police if she refused,” according to court documents. He also reportedly threatened to kill her family.
Martorelli fled to Long Island, New York, when arrest warrants were issued against him. He turned himself in on Jan. 10, 2017, after his parents escorted him back to Rowan County, where prosecutors said he has been incarcerated since.(
A grand jury indicted Martorelli earlier this year on 18 counts of child pornography and enticing a minor starting in October 2016 and continuing through Dec. 30, 2016, court documents show.
Three months later, he pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography and attempting to produce child pornography. The charges carried 15- to 30-year prison sentences and $250,000 fines, according to the plea agreement.
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