Rev. Frank R. Martinez, Jr.

Summary of Case: When Martinez was pastor of Sacred Heart in Melcher, he was accused of propositioning a 15-year-old boy for sex in a Davenport motel room in 1986. Ordained in 1982, Martinez had begun his career at the Davenport cathedral. His next assignment was as pastor at Sacred Heart in Lost Nation, but he was pulled after less than two years and sent briefly to a hospital chaplaincy out of state, before he was reassigned. A senior diocesan official was sent to replace him at Lost Nation. After the Melcher complaint went to the police, Martinez was sent to another chaplaincy, assigned as a "deacon" in the Rochester NY diocese, and then listed as on leave and on duty outside the diocese. In June 2004, Bishop Franklin asked the Pope to laicize Martinez.

: Martinez was 54 as of the 2/25/04 Franklin report
Birthplace: Davenport
Ordained: August 28, 1982
Incardinated: Davenport IA


Start Stop Parish Town State Position Comment
9/16/82 1/14/84 Sacred Heart Cathedral

Davenport IA Associate Pastor, 2/3. Pastor was Rev. Msgr. Sebastian G. Menke, and the other priest was Rev. Luis Coto from San Salvador.  
1/14/84 10/8/85 Sacred Heart

Lost Nation IA Pastor, 1/1. When Martinez left after less than two years, the pastor who took his place was Rev. Msgr. W. Robert Schmidt (ordained 1957), who was superintendant of diocesan schools and director of the Holy Childhood Pontifical Association. The very senior Schmidt was in Lost Nation very briefly, and then Rev. Robert Polycn, O.F.M.Cap. became pastor.
4/24/84 10/8/85 St. James Toronto IA Pastor, 1/1.  
10/8/85 11/27/85 St. Mary Hospital

Decatur IL Chaplain Leave of Absence.
11/27/85 11/1/86 St. Peter's

Buffalo IA Parochial Administrator, 1/1.  
11/1/86 1/5/87 Sacred Heart Melcher

• On 12/26/86, a 15-year-old boy fled from a motel room where Martinez had allegedly solicited the boy for sex (pp. 11-15), and the motel clerk called the police, who called the diocese.
IA Pastor, 1/1.  
11/1/86 1/5/87 St. Joseph

Bauer IA Pastor, 1/1. Attended by Martinez from Melcher. Martinez was put into Melcher and Bauer for Advent and Christmas, after Joseph P. Brady, the pastor there, was placed on leave. In subsequent OCDs, Brady disappears entirely.
1/15/87 1987         Absent on Leave
1987 1988 St. Francis Continuation Care and Nursing Home Burlington IA Chaplain 88-bed diocesan facility with 72 patients, run by the Sisters of the III Order of St. Francis. This assignment is not listed in the diocese's 2/25/04 service record.
1988 1990 St. Mary's

Rochester NY "Deacon" in first year, 2/2. Served under pastor Rev. James Lawlor. The receiving bishop was Matthew Clark. On duty outside the diocese. This assignment is not listed in the diocese's 2/25/04 service record. Martinez is still a priest, but he is called a deacon in the 1989 OCD. In the 1990 OCD, he is not listed in the Rochester diocesan pages, but in the Davenport pages this Rochester address is given.
1990 1995 Whereabouts not stated in the Official Catholic Directory.       Absent on Leave. This and later permutations of leave are listed in the Directory but not in the 2/25/04 service record.
1995 1996 St. Vincent Center Davenport IA   Not listed as on leave, just as residing at St. Vincent Center
1996 2001 St. Vincent Center Davenport IA   Special Assignment
2001 2003 Address: St. Vincent Center Davenport IA   On Duty Outside the Diocese

Source: Bishop William E. Franklin, "A Historical Accounting of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors and Action Taken Regarding Certain Priests" (Davenport, Iowa: Diocese of Davenport, February 25, 2004). Supplemented and corrected from the Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy and Sons, 1983-2003). The abuse at the Davenport hotel is discussed in a deposition of Msgr. Michael J. Morrissey (pp. 11-15).

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Martinez's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory and other sources with Martinez's alleged abuse of a boy in a Davenport motel. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.

This assignment record was last updated on 10/27/04.