Crime - Sacto 911

Former St. Francis softball coach accused of having sex with girl on team

Former St. Francis High School softball coach Michael Martis, 57, was arrested after an investigation that began in November.
Former St. Francis High School softball coach Michael Martis, 57, was arrested after an investigation that began in November.

A former softball coach at St. Francis Catholic High School has been arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a girl on the team, Sacramento police said Friday.

Michael Martis, 57, turned himself into the Sacramento County Main Jail on Thursday, where he was booked on multiple charges. He was released Friday, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Officer Traci Trapani said the relationship came to light after her family intercepted a text message between her and the suspect.

“The parents called police,” Trapani said.

Police said an investigation that began in November showed the girl and the coach began exchanging inappropriate text messages in 2013, when she was a sophomore at St. Francis. Later, they met several times and engaged in a sexual relationship, police said.

After Martis left St. Francis in 2014 to become the softball coach at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, the sexual encounters continued until November that year, police said. She was 17 when the encounters concluded, police said.

Martis could not be reached Friday for comment.

Margo Reid Brown, president of St. Francis High School, said in an emailed statement that Martis coached junior varsity or varsity softball at St. Francis from 2010 to 2014 and that he passed fingerprint and background checks required of all staff and volunteers before working with students.

“He left on good terms when he started coaching at another local school in 2014,” Brown said.

She said St. Francis received no complaints about Martis while he coached at the school.

“Our highest priority is and remains to promote a safe and supportive environment where young women can flourish,” Brown said. “We have cooperated and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement on this matter.”

Martis was the Oak Ridge High School varsity softball coach for one season in spring 2015, according to the El Dorado Union High School District. The district said in a statement that Oak Ridge and the district will continue to cooperate with the Sacramento Police Department.

El Dorado Union Superintendent Stephen Wehr said the school district never received complaints about Martis of the nature being investigated. Wehr said “coaches come and go” when asked why Martis was at Oak Ridge for only one season.

Sacramento police asked those with information about this crime to call 916-264-5471 or Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP (4357). They can also file an anonymous tip using the free “P3 Tips” smartphone app. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments