By Cody Hooks
Armando Martinez grew up in Questa, the village of alfalfa fields and a couple of thousand people at the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Martinez didn’t look for work at the nearby molybdenum mine, like a lot of young men from the village. Instead, he went into a Catholic seminary, became a priest and headed parishes from Belen to Tucumcari, Springer to El Rito.
In May 1997, Martinez was found naked and dead, his body left in a ditch near Bernalillo. His murderer turned himself in days later.
The deep, reverberating shock of losing Martinez in such a horrific way was only made more nerve-wracking when then-Archbishop Michael Sheehan revealed in a press conference that Martinez had been restricted from his duties as a priest in 1993 after allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor were made against him.
Sheehan’s revelation about Martinez came at the beginning of a tidal wave of allegations of sexual abuse and subsequent lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, in particular.
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