Crime

Man who used Santeria to coerce teen into having sex with him gets prison

Sergio Carmona-Martinez, 56, was sentenced to 75 years in prison, with 15 years of sex offender probation afterward, and designated a sexual predator Friday afternoon.
Sergio Carmona-Martinez, 56, was sentenced to 75 years in prison, with 15 years of sex offender probation afterward, and designated a sexual predator Friday afternoon. ttomkins@bradenton.com

A Bradenton man who used the Santeria religion to coerce a minor into having sex with him has been sentenced to 75 years in prison.

In September, Sergio Carmona-Martinez was found guilty on five counts of sexual battery of a minor between the ages of 12 and 18. Each charge was punishable by up to 30 years each.

According to court documents, Carmona-Martinez, 56, claimed to channel spirits that would harm the victim if she denied him sex.

“Mr. Carmona-Martinez manipulated the teenage victim by placing himself in a position of trust and power,” said Assistant State Attorney Brian Chamber. “This 75-year prison sentence ensures that Mr. Carmona-Martinez never again preys upon the youth of our community.”

He was sentenced on Friday.

Santeria is an Afro-Cuban religion that includes the worship of Roman Catholic saints, offerings to the spirits and rituals that sometimes include animal sacrifices.

On Nov. 13, Carmona-Martinez will stand trial for identical charges on a separate teenage girl who claimed that he used the Santeria religion to have sex with her as well. Both girls testified during this trial.

Carmona-Martinez also received 15 years of sex offender probation and has been designated a sexual predator.

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