City News Service

Man Who Allegedly Molested Runaway Prostituted by Sex Offender Arraigned

What to Know

  • A man allegedly engaged in sex acts with a 15-year-old runaway girl prostituted by a convicted sex offender in Riverside.
  • Leonard Lawrence Martinez, 33, of Jurupa Valley, was arrested in August, along with 59-year-old John Robert Titow of Riverside.
  • The victim was standing outside a store in the 3900 block of Market Street approaching men and offering sexual services.

A man who allegedly engaged in sex acts with a 15-year-old runaway girl prostituted by a convicted sex offender in Riverside pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony and misdemeanor charges.

Leonard Lawrence Martinez, 33, of Jurupa Valley, was arrested in August, along with 59-year-old John Robert Titow of Riverside. Martinez is charged with lewd acts on a child, as well as annoying a minor and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Jan. 31 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. Martinez is free on a $75,000 bond.

His co-defendant, Titow, was sentenced last month to five years in state prison after admitting charges of human trafficking of a minor, persuading a child to engage in lewd acts and recruiting an underage person for prostitution.

According to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback, in the predawn hours of July 7, the victim, whose identity was not released, was standing outside a store in the 3900 block of Market Street, approaching men and offering sexual services. Titow was standing nearby but did not speak to anyone, Railsback said. He said one of the store customers called 911, and officers went to the scene but were unable to find either the girl or the defendant.

However, following a three-week investigation, vice squad detectives identified Titow as the pimp. He was tracked down and arrested along Magnolia Avenue on Aug. 2. The teen was found safe. Martinez was identified as an alleged co-conspirator soon after Titow was taken into custody. The probationer was arrested on Gemini Court in Jurupa Valley on Aug. 16 but posted bail immediately.

Martinez has a prior misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence of drugs. Titow's priors included attempted lewd acts on a child under 14 years old and burglary.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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