2 more booked in multiple rapes of 12-year-old girl

Sheriff’s deputies have arrested two additional men in the case of a 12-year-old girl who told authorities she was raped repeatedly at her home in East Baton Rouge Parish over the past several months.

The arrests late Monday came days after Ivy Edward Martin, 38, was booked with aggravated rape. The Port Allen sex offender is accused of allowing at least two men to have sex with the girl and warning her that “she would be made a fool of and no one would believe her” if she reported the rapes, according to booking affidavits.

Arthur Lee Jones, 55, 4607 Chapeau Dr., Baker, and Michael Jerrold Sherbin, 35, 1714 Cedar Lake Dr., Baton Rouge, face one count each of aggravated rape. Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said other arrests are possible as the investigation continues.

The investigation began last month after a relative told authorities she believed the girl was being forced to have sex with Martin and was possibly pregnant. The girl’s mother initially refused to cooperate with investigators, who found Martin inside the home and took him into custody last week, according to an affidavit.

The mother later told authorities she had taken her daughter to the hospital for treatment after the girl revealed Martin was having sex with her.

“The mother of the victim advised she delayed in contacting law enforcement because the victim changed her statement several times and she began to doubt the victim,” the affidavit says.

The girl told detectives Martin had been having sex with her on a weekly basis since at least September. Martin denied those claims in an interview with investigators but admitted watching the girl have sex with other adult men.

“He also admitted he was sick and needed help,” an affidavit says.

Detectives questioned Jones and Sherbin late Monday after they were implicated by the girl. The girl recalled an instance in July in which Sherbin allegedly watched Martin rape the girl, then had sex with her while Martin masturbated.

Sherbin admitted having sex with the girl, but claimed he immediately stopped “because he knew it was wrong,” according to an affidavit. The affidavit says the girl’s mother had left the residence at the time of that rape.

Jones, in an interview with detectives, said he walked into the room when Martin was having sex with the girl some time in October.

“He (Jones) further stated that he was drunk and he really could not remember what he did,” an affidavit says. “He also admitted that he knew that his co-defendant allowed other adult men to have sex with the victim, but he failed to do anything about it.”

The girl’s mother could not be reached for comment Tuesday. An arrest affidavit said additional charges were pending against Martin.

Martin, 884 N. 11th St., Port Allen, has a criminal history dating back to at least 1999, when he was charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile and pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He was sentenced to one year in prison and placed on probation for a year, according to court records.

In 2007, Martin pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to two years in state prison. As part of a plea bargain, prosecutors in West Baton Rouge Parish agreed not to file a habitual offender bill against him, a designation that substantially lengthens prison sentences.

“He’s been in and out of the system,” said Col. Richie Johnson, of the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Advocate staff writer Terry L. Jones contributed to this report.