Tuesday, 78 year old Charles Ray Martin was sentenced to life in prison for Indecency With a Child by Sexual Contact.

Martin was indicted in August 2015 for the May 2015 offense.

On May 31, 2015 a local League City church reported to police that a 15-year-old church attendee had been fondled by Martin during a Sunday morning service. The victim was in the church’s kitchen when Martin came up behind the victim, put his arm around her and squeezed the victim’s breast. The victim initially thought it could have been an accident but then Martin did it a second time.

Why life in prison…That’s because Martin was convicted of sexual assault of a child back in 1998…which gave him automatic life after the first felony.

Meanwhile, the victim told him to stop and pushed him away. Martin told the victim to not tell anyone because they both could get into trouble. Initially the family reported the incident only to the church, who had known since Martin became a member that he was a registered sex offender. The victim testified that she had known Martin for several years because they attended church together.

After closing arguments, the court found Martin guilty and a short punishment phase immediately followed. Martin faced a punishment of automatic life because of a felony enhancement for a 1998 Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child conviction. Martin pled not true to the enhancement requiring the State to present evidence of the conviction. Galveston County Sheriff’s Office Deputy W. Kilburn testified after conducting a fingerprint analysis that the prior judgment presented by the State was for Martin. Judge Neves took both the evidence and arguments under advisement and shortly before 5pm found the enhancement true, which meant Martin would be serve an automatic life sentence. Martin will not be eligible for parole until at least 30 years of his sentence has been served.

Martin was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kacey Launius and Rebecca Russell in the 10th District Court, with Judge Kerry Neves presiding. The investigation was conducted by the League City Police Department.