Editor's note: The following story contains details that may not be suitable for younger readers.
Sentencing has been pushed back for a Daly City man accused of sexually assaulting his young niece since 2009, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Tony Martinez, 66, pleaded no contest last year to committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of his niece, of whom Martinez was her legal guardian, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Wednesday.
Martinez was expected to be sentenced this week, but sentencing was pushed back to Feb. 20. He faces a maximum of three years in prison.
Prosecutors say the victim is a 12-year-old girl who didn't know her father, and when her mother had to give up custody she went to live in Pacifica with her great aunt and great uncle — Martinez.
Beginning in 2009, when she was in 5th grade, Martinez would enter her room and sexually touch her, according to prosecutors.
This happened consistently for a period of about two and a half years, prosecutors said. At the start of 6th grade, the victim disclosed the abuse to a friend but told her not to tell anyone and then kept it a secret.
In October 2010, two of the 12-year-old's aunts were cleaning her room and came across a hand-written note. The victim had written that she was being abused by her uncle and how she wished she could just die and that the abuse would stop, prosecutors said.
She was confronted about the note and disclosed how her uncle had been touching her, according to prosecutors.
Pacifica Police were called and the victim then disclosed additional intimate details. Martinez denied any improper touching.
On Oct. 18, 2012, after three days of jury trial, prosecutors made a new offer in accord with the request of the defense attorney and judge.
The defendant then pleaded no contest to committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14.
Martinez remains out of custody on $300,000 bail bond.
Keep up with local news — follow Patch!
Want to share your opinions with the Pacifica community? Start your own blog here.