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More charges, larger bail for hospice worker accused of sex crimes in St. Louis County

More charges, larger bail for hospice worker accused of sex crimes in St. Louis County

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A man already charged with groping elderly women he bathed as a health-care aide is back in jail, facing the additional and more serious charges of rape and sodomy as a hospice worker.

Walter Javier Martinez, 44, is being held in the St. Louis County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Martinez lives in the 400 block of Johanna Place Drive in west St. Louis County.

Two weeks ago, he posted a $5,000 bail in a criminal case that was filed at the beginning of the month. But his freedom was short-lived. With this latest investigation, he surrendered to police and was brought back to jail on Monday. He was charged Tuesday with the second set of crimes.

In the latest case, St. Louis County police say Martinez committed forcible rape and forcible sodomy between May 22, 2012, and June 1, 2012, when he worked as a hospice nurse's aide for a company called Odyssey Hospice. His work with the hospice patients included bathing them, police say.

Odyssey, a subsidiary of Gentiva Health Services, is based at 2055 Craigshire Road in west St. Louis County. A spokesman for Gentiva said the company could not comment on the allegations, but said it had notified authorities and the families of alleged victims as soon as it learned of them. Martinez is no longer employed there.

"Gentiva is committed to protecting both the security and privacy of patients and their families," the spokesman said.

The earlier case against Martinez came out of Ellisville and Chesterfield and came while he provided care at two facilities while employed by Odyssey. He was charged Aug. 1 with two counts of deviate sexual assault. Martinez is accused of fondling two women: One client, 80, while bathing her at Bethesda Meadow at 322 Old State Road in Ellisville; and another client, 99, at Sunrise Assisted Living, 1880 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield.

Ellisville police learned about the incidents after Martinez went to his boss to admit groping a resident. The supervisor called state officials. Police say the elderly woman in Ellisville was not coherent enough to tell police details of the assault.

It's not clear when the abuse happened. According to court records, Martinez fondled the clients between Jan. 1 and Jan. 16. Schneider said police in Chesterfield were called on Jan. 16, but the abuse apparently happened two months earlier.

Conditions of his release from jail on Aug. 12 included that Martinez have no contact with elderly people, nursing homes or home healthcare agencies. He also can't work as a personal aide in any capacity, the judge ordered in allowing Martinez to post bail.

Even though Martinez went to his boss and confessed to groping the women in Ellisville and Chesterfield, Martinez denies the latest round of allegations, according to his attorney.

"These new charges are absolutely false, and we are going to be fighting the new counts," said his attorney, Matthew Radefeld.

Radefeld said the two new charges were added to the original case filed on Aug. 1. He said he will be asking a judge to sever the cases so they can be handled separately.

Radefeld said the new charges deal with allegations that are 14 months old and involve a patient who "has a history of having trouble with male caregivers." By trouble, Radefeld said he meant that she was verbally and physically abusive toward Martinez and other male caregivers. He said Martinez worked with the woman about four times and that others were always around when he was tending to her.

Meanwhile, police are asking anyone with additional information about Martinez to speak with detectives by calling county police at 314-889-2341.

The next court date in the case is scheduled for Sept. 3, when Martinez is expected to ask a St. Louis County judge to lower his bond amount.

 

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