Quadriplegic rapist with local ties to be freed from prison

Steven Martinez first freed under medical parole

SAN DIEGO - A convicted rapist who has since become a quadriplegic after he was stabbed in prison will be medically released.

Steven Martinez was sentenced to 157 years in prison for a brutal rape that occurred in San Diego in 1998. Martinez, however, is unable to care for and feed himself. Under a program by the state to release California's costliest inmates, the state will save $625,000 a year by not taking care of him.  

However, deputy district attorney Richard Sachs said, "Despite [Martinez's] condition, he made significant threats to his nurses and caregivers and remains a threat to public safety."

"I don't feel threatened whatsoever," said a woman who did not want to be identified. She would be a potential neighbor if Martinez is released to his parents who live in Clairemont.

In 1998, Martinez used his vehicle to run down two women as they left a San Diego dance club. He picked up one who was badly hurt by the throat, punched her in the nose, tossed her into his car and took her to a remote area of Fiesta Island, where he brutally assaulted her. The victim testified that she never wanted to see Martinez released from prison.

Martinez was twice denied release under the program but a court overturned the objections and ordered his release.

He will be taken to an undisclosed facility for a 10-day evaluation and will be the 48th prisoner to be paroled under the medical release program.

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