SPRINGFIELD – Seemed like a hook, a ripe choice for a young professional looking for a life partner: a handsome lawyer with an easy-going sense of humor, southern manners, and an eye for family education.
But James J. Martin – ultimately convicted of sexually assaulting clients in the same courthouse where he served as a lawyer for years – turned out to be anything but anything, according to ex-wife Courtney Hall Martin.
“At some point I thought I have to do what the smart girls do and choose someone who is career-oriented and will be a good father,” she said in an interview. “He was fun and friendly. He was stupid; he read comics. He is from Georgia and was a fan of the Atlanta Braves. “
He was a southern gentleman with a Nordic inclination, she and her friends liked to joke in the early days of their publicity. The couple met when she was studying law and he was an established lawyer. They married in 2011.
Courtney Martin was married to the man for more than five years, gave birth to two of his children – and is now vehemently opposing his possible parole after serving less than half of a four-year prison sentence.
A Massachusetts Parole Board hearing has been postponed several times and is currently scheduled for February 3rd, according to Courtney Martin. The probation hearing comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, when judges release more generous inmates as COVID-19 numbers continue an alarming rise within the walls of prisons and prisons across the country.
The criminal case against James Martin was a bit choppy in that he was first convicted of sexually assaulting one of his clients and then acquitted of rape by another judge.
James Martin pleaded guilty in 2019 to lesser charges relating to sexual assault on a third client, a Chicopee mother of four, in his office in 2016.
Other women accused him of sending sexually explicit text messages and groping her.
Courtney Martin, who still practices family law in Greater Springfield, said she kept thinking about what she may have missed when they were together and at the beginning of their marriage.
“I literally don’t know who I married. … For years I have wondered where I went wrong and what signs I might have missed, ”she said.
According to court records, James Martin no longer has a criminal defense attorney. Alan J. Black represented Martin at the start of the case, got into conflict with him in the middle of the torrent, but was then unable to withdraw from the case if a judge did not allow it.
Courtney Martin said her ex-husband – whom she referred to as “ex, ex, ex … if I made him more ex, I would” – questioned many aspects of her divorce verdict, including access to her daughters. She said and court records show she was in active work with her younger daughter when state police issued a search warrant against James Martin four years ago.
Her objection to James Martin’s early release applies to her two daughters 4 and 6, as well as any women James Martin might meet in the future, he said. Many more women checked in with law enforcement and even more reached out to them personally after meeting James Martin on dating sites, she said.
“It’s serial. It won’t stop, ”said Courtney Martin. “I am not a despised woman. I don’t care about anyone they date or sleep with as long as it’s consensual for the rest of their life. I would just hope and expect the Commonwealth to be interested in protecting other women. “