EXCLUSIVE: Alleged West End groping suspect, victim speak out

Posted at 4:40 PM, Nov 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-24 12:48:33-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Henrico police have arrested a man they say groped a teenage girl and a woman earlier this month inside West End stores.

Fifty-year-old Todd Martin has been charged with sexual battery.

In an exclusive jailhouse interview with CBS 6 News' Jon Burkett on Friday, Martin said he is on suicide at the Henrico County Jail. He said he feels apologetic towards his two alleged victims and that the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. 

In fact, Martin claims that his medications, Xanax and other things he takes for “anxiety," were off.  He says he was stumbling through the aisles at the Martin’s grocery store off Three Chopt when he claims the meds made him fall into a female shopper.

“I guarantee you none of my friends or anybody that knows me would say I’m lewd or perverted or whatever,” Martin told Burkett.

However, one of his alleged victims disagrees. The female shopper, whose identity CBS 6 News is protecting, believes the stumbling was no accident.

She told Burkett on Friday afternoon that she was out shopping for food to make her father a special dinner for Veterans Day when the alleged incident took place.

“I notice him enter the aisle without a cart or a basket… That was weird,” she said. “I was turned around, and he approached me, bumped into me and felt my groin area and upward motion.”

Henrico police said Martin is also a suspect in a similar groping incident that takes place a week before at Joann Fabrics on West Broad. In that case, a 16-year-old girl reported that she was touched inappropriately by a man wearing what appeared to be a wig.

Martin told Burkett in the jailhouse interview that that was actually his real hair and that he was not wearing a wig. He said he recently shaved it off because he was trying to get a job.

A tipster called police and turned Martin in after surveillance photos aired on CBS 6.

Martin said the latest arrest can be added to what he calls a string of bad luck and that he has been unemployed for four years.

One of his alleged victims said Martin's arrest should send a clear message that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated

“If anything feels weird, you got to listen to that intuition… and you should take the time to do the right thing,” she said. “Hopefully, it gets him off the streets, so he can’t violate any other women.”

Martin is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning. He says he cannot afford an attorney, so he will ask a judge to appoint one.


Man suspected in West End sex assaults (PHOTO: Henrico Police)