Ventura County school board member accused of sexually molesting young girl
A board member of Ventura County's Rio School District pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he sexually molested a young girl over a five-year period and fathered her child.
Brian E. Martin, 49, entered the plea during a brief session in Ventura County Superior Court.
A mechanic and electrician, Martin has been on the Rio district's board of trustees since 2006. He has been active in many community organizations, including the El Rio Little League.
Prosecutors disclosed that they dropped a charge of sexual acts with a child under 10 because the statute did not take effect until September 2006, when the alleged victim was already older than 10. If convicted, Martin faces a possible prison term of about 25 years, Deputy Dist. Atty. Anthony Wold said.
Free on $250,000 bail, he is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child and causing great bodily injury -- a reference, Wold said, to the girl's pregnancy. She reportedly was one of his wife's relatives.
The Rio School District runs six elementary schools and two middle schools that serve the unincorporated area of El Rio and parts of Oxnard.
-- Steve Chawkins in Ventura