The death of 16-year-old Esmeralda Richiez raises more questions than answers.
John Kelly Martinez, her 35-year-old professor at the Instituto Agropecuario de Higuey (Politécnico de la Cruz) in La Otra Banda, province of La Altagracia, is the prime suspect in the case.
According to the prosecutor’s request for coercive action, Martinez and his cousin, Rubén Morillo Martínez, accompanied Esmeralda and three other minors to Macao beach, where Martinez put five pills in Esmeralda’s drink without her consent.
Later, they had to stop several times on the way back because Esmeralda was bleeding profusely.
They stopped at a gas station parking lot where Esmeralda used the bathroom. One of the minors who was present and witnessed the incident reported the details.
A business owner reported that the teen entered the gas station restroom with the driver of the vehicle she was traveling in, but the driver left without speaking to anyone.
Bloodstains believed to be Richiez’s were found in the restroom and parking lot of the gas station.
At 10:21 PM, the group stopped at a pharmacy to buy medicine, water, and sanitary napkins. Security footage and the purchase invoice were obtained by authorities to verify the details of the stop.
Richiez was dropped off at her residence at 11 p.m. by John Kelly Martinez and Ruben Morillo Martinez, leaving the other children behind.
She arrived with heavy vaginal bleeding, which started after she was left alone in the teacher’s vehicle. Despite seeing her pale and bleeding, Richiez’s parents asked her what was wrong and left her alone.
The autopsy report indicated that she had died of hypovolemic shock, which occurred as a result of significant blood loss. The report also revealed signs of physical assault in multiple areas, though it did not confirm or deny pregnancy.
The investigation found that Ruben Morillo Martinez was an accomplice to the crime, “knowing the violent sexual activities the deceased had with the suspect.”
Martinez himself is the prime suspect in the case, as he was Richiez’s math and physical education teacher.
The case becomes increasingly harrowing, with media reports suggesting that Richiez may have been pregnant and that Martinez gave her abortion pills.
A classmate’s audio recording circulated on social media claiming that Richiez was pregnant, adding another layer of complexity to the investigation.
Over the weekend, media revealed that the accused professor is married and his two children attend the same school where Esmeralda Richiez was enrolled. One of his children is said to be the same age as the deceased teenager.
Audio recordings of the victim’s friends and an aunt fueled rumors that Richiez may have been pregnant and died as a result of a botched abortion attempt.
The victim’s parents, Eligio and Isabel Richiez, discovered their daughter’s lifeless body in the bathroom in the morning. The studies suggest that if the victim had received immediate medical attention, she might have survived.
These shocking details highlight the seriousness of the situation and have sparked widespread public outrage.
Authorities must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation to ensure that Richiez and her family receive justice.
The evidence gathered so far suggests that a heinous crime has been committed and that the perpetrators must be held accountable.
Why is S*x-Ed important?
As we await further developments in the case, it is essential to recognize the importance of educating young people about consent and sexual violence.
Such incidents are preventable, and by providing children with the knowledge and skills to recognize and report abuse, we can help prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future.
In addition, a concerted effort must be made to hold those in positions of power accountable for their actions.
Martinez was a significant influence over Richiez as a teacher and should have been held to a higher standard of behavior.
It is imperative that institutions implement robust security policies and procedures to protect children from abuse.
Finally, this case highlights the need for a societal shift in attitudes towards gender-based violence.
Victims are often blamed and perpetrators are excused for their behavior. We must work to create a culture of zero tolerance towards sexual violence and hold those who perpetrate such acts accountable.
Finally, the death of Esmeralda Richiez is a tragic reminder of the work that remains to be done to protect children from abuse and violence.
The investigation must continue until all the facts are known and justice is done.