BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man accused of sex trafficking and raping a 12-year-old in 2013 pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the courtroom in early December, before the trial could begin. Today, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Ivy Martin is one of seven people who were accused of raping the girl. Martin took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to sexual battery and molestation of a juvenile.
Martin was indicted in March 2014 on seven counts of aggravated rape and one count of molestation of a juvenile.
Officials with the District Attorney's office say four of the accused were expected to testify against 40-year-old Ivy Martin. The other six pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
In November 2013, Martin was arrested after being accused of raping the girl on multiple occasions. Reports say that it happened on a weekly basis.
During the investigation, deputies questioned Martin and he denied having sex with the victim. He did state that he watched the victim while she performed sexual acts on other adult males. The report notes that he told deputies he is "sick" and needs "help."
A week after Martin was arrested, two more arrests were made. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Arthur L. Jones of Baker, and Michael Jerrold Sherbin of Baton Rouge on charges of aggravated rape.
During the investigation, the 12-year-old girl identified Sherbin and Jones as the other men who raped her. She told investigators that Martin and Sherbin raped her in July 2013. She told investigators that Martin and Jones raped her in October of that year. The report added Jones also told police he knew that Martin allowed other men to have sex with the victim but he failed to do anything about it.
The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office said, "Ivy Martin had intercourse with the 12-year-old female juvenile and on one occasion he involved Clarence Tillman of Port Allen."
Tillman was charged with principal to rape and principal to oral sexual battery. He was not indicted by the Grand Jury. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 4, 2015 to principal to indecent behavior with a juvenile in West Baton Rouge Parish. He was sentenced to five years hard labor, however all but 14 months of his sentence was suspended and he was given credit for time served.
On June 11, 2015, his probation was revoked for failing to submit an approved sex offender residence plan and was arrested. He was sentenced the five years with credit for time served. He is being held in the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Tillman also involved Brandon Edwards during the incident with the 12-year-old. Edwards was charged with aggravated rape. The report says both Ivy Martin and Edwards had sexual contact with the child during this instance.
Edwards was indicted through West Baton Rouge Parish on Jan. 16, 2015 on two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13. On May 6, 2015, he entered a best interest plea of guilty and was sentenced to 25 years hard labor, however all but six years of his sentence was suspended.
On March 25, 2015 in East Baton Rouge Parish, Edwards pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13. He was sentenced to 25 years hard labor, but given credit for time served. The court suspended all but six years of the sentence, which will be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. His time with East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge Parishes will be served concurrent.
According to a probable cause report from EBRSO, Michael Sherbin of Baton Rouge told investigators he had sex with the girl as well in July, immediately after watching Martin have sex with the victim.
On January 6, 2015, Sherbin pleaded guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13. He was sentenced to 20 years hard labor. The court suspended all but four years of the sentence, to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. After his time served, he will be placed on probation for five years.
Also arrested was Jessica D. Carr. She was identified as the sixth suspect accused of participating in sexual acts with the 12-year-old. She pleaded guilty on Jan. 21, 2015 after the charge was amended to indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13.
The seventh person arrested was Jerome Jackson. Jackson was taken into custody by the Port Allen Police Department. He was charged with aggravated rape for an incident that allegedly occurred in early November 2013.
Jackson pleaded guilty on Jan. 14, 2015 to an amended charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13. He was sentenced to 25 years hard labor, but the court suspended all but five years of his sentence. He will serve the five years without benefit of probation, parole and suspension.
The child's mother was issued a summons for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
The mother's identity will not be released in order to protect the identity of the child.