SAN ANTONIO – She was a teenage runaway when she was approached by Elizabeth Ann Martinez, 33, prosecutors told the jury during opening arguments Tuesday in Martinez’s trial.
Martinez is facing sex trafficking of a child for prostitution, compelling prostitution and aggravated promotion of prostitution charges. And life in prison if she is convicted.
Among Martinez’s alleged victims, according to prosecutors, was a 16-year-old child they identified only as Amy to protect her identity.
She testified that promises from Martinez persuaded her to work as a prostitute to help Martinez, who told her that she was having money problems.
“She said that she would be the mother I never had and would care and watch over me,” Amy, who is now 19 years old, testified.
“Since I was a runaway and I wasn’t with my mom, she said that she would help me with a place to live and we would be good together,” the teen said.
That "place to live," she soon learned, would be different motel rooms over a six-week period in March and April of 2016, where Amy had sex for money, drugs and “anything that was useful.”
In their opening statement, prosecutors said Martinez and eight others were running what they said was a sex trafficking ring.
As one of their victims, Amy testified, she would have sex and pay Martinez a portion of her money for sex.
The "clients," she called them, would pay anywhere from $70 to $120 for each sex encounter.
“The mornings would only have about five (people) but toward the evenings, at night going into early morning, the total is gonna be about 30, 40 people,” the victim testified.
Testimony is expected to continue on Wednesday in Judge Jefferson Moore’s 186th District Court.