BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Their relationship spanned a tumultuous five years.
At one point she loved Martin Cazares, but she eventually came to realize he was incapable of returning those feelings. By the end, she saw a side of him that wounded her physically and left lasting emotional damage.
She now understands he only wanted to control her.
“He loved how he could use fear to brainwash, control and manipulate me,” the woman said in court Tuesday.
Following her comments, Judge Gregory A. Pulskamp sentenced Cazares to 25 years to life plus eight years for kidnapping and raping the woman in November of last year. Cazares kept her captive several days until authorities located them in Santa Barbara, prosecutors said.
The woman still had bruising from a beating inflicted days earlier.
It’s the policy of 17 News not to name victims of sexual assault unless they publicly come forward.
Cazares, 27, who represented himself at trial, acknowledged they had a troubled relationship but claimed he tried to improve it. He said in court he never wanted it to end this way, admitting some responsibility.
“I apologize for what I actually did do, and that’s something only you and I will ever know,” a teary Cazares told the woman.
Cazares attempted to get his sentencing postponed, arguing he hadn’t been interviewed by probation officers and needed to obtain a trial transcript from the court reporter.
A probation official said the department had contacted Cazares and he refused to be interviewed. Cazares said he didn’t recall that.
As for the transcript, Pulskamp said Cazares needs to contact the court reporter himself and request it. The judge noted he has told Cazares since he first decided to act as his own attorney that he would not grant him extra rights.
Cazares then attempted to argue a motion for a new trial. Pulskamp gave him a couple minutes to state his case, but after Cazares, flipping through papers, failed to say anything the judge denied his request, telling him it should have been filed with the court beforehand.
After imposing sentence, Pulskamp issued a protective order barring Cazares from contacting the woman or her family, including attempting to learn their addresses. Failure to abide by the order could result in new charges.
In addressing the court, the woman said she is scared Cazares, if released early, will find and kill her. She said she’s been given a second chance and, although afraid, spoke up for all the women slain in domestic violence incidents, the ones who despaired and died by suicide and those sitting in prison for killing their abusers.
“I don’t see myself in another relationship for a very long time,” she said.