A Houma man has been arrested on first-degree rape charges after police say sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
Brandon Anthony Martinez, 36, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted on the charges.
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said Thursday that his office's Special Victims' Unit began the investigation Aug. 12.
"SVU Detectives met with the victim and her mother and learned that Martinez, a former live-in boyfriend of the mother, was being accused of the abuse," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release. "Detectives learned that Martinez was involved with the victim as a father figure for most of her life during the live-in relationship with her mother."
Martinez and the mother were no longer together at the time the investigation began, Soignet said in the release.
Detectives learned that the abuse had taken place on multiple occasions over the past year while the girl visited a residence Terrebonne occupied by Martinez, according to the release.
Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Martinez, who was brought in for questioning, the Sheriff's Office said.
Martinez was booked into the Terrebonne jail, where he remains on bail of $1 million.
The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff said.
“As we all know, these types of cases are extremely difficult for the victim, family and all involved," Soignet said. "Our SVU Detectives do an unbelievable job of not only dealing with very complex and tragic circumstances but also the victims of our community. Today our parish is safer because of the work they do.”
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Houma man charged in rape of 12-year-old girl, police say