California prison psychologist charged with faking her rape; husband divorces her

December 9, 2011

Sacramento police responded to a 911 call from the Martinez home on Norgard Court last April and found Laurie Ann Martinez lying on the floor, crying hysterically.

Her shirt was ripped open, her lip split, her knuckles scraped. She told officers she had come home to find a strange man who knocked her unconscious, raped her and robbed her. She went with them to the hospital for an evidentiary exam.

It was, police allege, all a lie – one concocted to persuade her husband to move to another neighborhood.

On Monday, officers arrested the 36-year-old Martinez – a licensed psychologist for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – on suspicion of two counts of criminal conspiracy, according to authorities.

In court documents, police detectives and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office allege that Martinez, with the help of friend Nicole April Snyder, staged the entire scene.

Martinez used sandpaper to scuff up her hands, a pin to cut her lip, they allege. She reportedly ripped open her shirt to expose her breasts and urinated on herself to convince officers she had been knocked out.

Snyder, now 33, used boxing gloves, purchased at the direction of Martinez, to rough up her friend's face, according to the documents. And then she hid in her own home items that Martinez would later tell police had been stolen, including two laptop computers, her purse and an Xbox, the documents state.

Efforts to reach Martinez, who was released Monday on $50,000 bail, were unsuccessful. She is scheduled to be arraigned next Monday.

David Martinez, who court records indicate is divorcing his wife, declined to comment.

As a "senior psychologist, supervisor," Laurie Martinez oversees a team of clinicians who treat inmates with mental health issues at California State Prison, Sacramento, formerly called New Folsom Prison. Though she technically remains assigned there, she was "redirected" to headquarters – where she no longer has contact with inmates – pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, said CDCR spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

As of Thursday night, Thornton said she did not know whether Martinez had been placed on "administrative time off" as a result of the criminal charges. "If she hasn't been, … it's likely she will be," Thornton said.

Martinez's state license, issued by the Board of Psychology, remains valid, according to online records last updated Wednesday.

Snyder had not been arrested by Thursday night, though a warrant is out for her arrest. Her father told The Bee she is out of town until Saturday and that he was not aware of the case, nor does he know Martinez.

Source: "Kim Minugh, California prison psychologist charged with faking her own rape to trick husband into moving," The Sacramento Bee, December 9, 2011.


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