An email, a Senator and a bathroom
By Seth Ogilvie, Idaho Reports
Police reports involving a key Idaho lawmaker and a Boise high school bathroom started circulating the Statehouse last week.
The police reports, obtained by Idaho Reports, appears to have been scanned on March 10 and circulated by an anonymous, secure email account mimicking state Sen. Fred Martin, a Republican from Boise who has been at the center of several of this year’s most contentious legislative issues.
The email came from “fred.martin” <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Proton mail is an encryption email service based out of Switzerland. The anonymous emailer asked the questions “Is he a pervert? You decide. Did he use his position to cover it up? Sure seems that way.” Attached in the email were photos of the police reports.
“I feel like the email was a form of intimidation,” Martin told Idaho Reports on Saturday. “I took it as a threat.”
Idaho Reports has requested a copy of the reports from the Boise Police Department and also requested the names of all others who have obtained a copy of the documents. As of Saturday, Boise police have not yet responded. Boise police officials, however, have confirmed to legislators the reports are not a forgery. Martin himself confirmed they were not a forgery but said they were factually wrong.
Martin told Idaho reports “there is an active investigation into this email that has been turned over to the attorney general’s office.”
A spokesman for Attorney General Lawrence Wasden had “no comment” on whether or not an investigation exists.
Martin is the chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare committee and is the gatekeeper of multiple high-profile policy decisions from immunization exemptions to Medicaid expansion work requirements.
Martin has said he opposes restrictions on Medicaid expansion and will not allow a hearing on the immunization exemptions bill, which has already cleared the House earlier this year.
Martin says this email has only strengthened his stance on these issues. “The committee did not want to hear 133 (the immunization bill)” said Martin. “Now we never will.”
“This email is not related at all to Medicaid expansion and will have no impact,” said Martin.
Some members of Democratic leadership see a possible correlation between the timing of this email and the positions Martin has taken.
“Anyone who is not toeing the line is at risk” said Senate Assistant Minority Leader Cherie Buckner-Webb, a Democrat from Boise.
“Martin exhibited suspicious behaviors during two known incidents on the property of Centennial H.S.,” the report reads of two incidents occurring in 2012 and 2014. “He had several inconsistent statements during an interview.”
However, the police concluded “at this point in the investigation, I have not identified any criminal activity that is prosecutable.”
The email was sent last week to multiple legislators in the Senate and the House seemingly at random. Idaho Reports has confirmed at least 10 House members and multiple senators received the email.
The documents attached in the email are titled “Scanned Documents 3.10.2019_page_01.jpg.” On March 8th, Miste Gardner-Karlfedt — a person active in Health Freedom Idaho — posted a clearly edited image on Facebook of Martin exiting a bathroom.
Health Freedom Idaho has actively supported the immunization exemption bill. The group often posts about parental rights and the dangers of vaccinations.
Meanwhile, Dustin Hurst, communications director for the libertarian-leaning Idaho Freedom Foundation, responded: “Just wait until Tomorrow.”
Hurst told Idaho Reports on Saturday “that was a reference to our king Martin graphic.”
That king Martin graphic came out at 11:30 A.M on the same day as the bathroom photo was posted.
“I think the actions of Health Freedom Idaho hurt their cause,” Martin told Idaho Reports.
On a Health Freedom Idaho facebook post on Saturday the group denied being responsible for the email. “Sen Martin is pointing the finger at HFI for releasing his police reports. While the contents of these reports are very concerning to many parents and Health Freedom Idaho members, we did not release these reports. It appears Mr. Martin is attempting to shift the public’s focus away from the contents of the police investigation, but Idaho citizens are too smart for this.”
The incidents in the report took place in 2012 and 2014. The first incident took place after a basketball game at Centennial High School in Boise. According to that report, Martin was wearing a long dress coat and had gloves on both hands when he entered the school by himself around 10:45 p.m.
Multiple custodians reported seeing Martin in the school at this time. One custodian who was cleaning bathrooms reported seeing Martin in the girls’ bathroom. The police report says “Martin was inside the women’s bathroom behind the wall with his back to the bathroom stalls and sinks.” The report continues “Martin was peering from behind the wall looking out the door into the hallway.”
“I was at the school after hours, but it wasn’t two in the morning, people were there,” Martin told Idaho Reports on Saturday. “I didn’t go into the bathroom, there was a cart, and I yelled into the bathroom because I was trying to talk to someone.”
The custodian “indicated he was startled because Martin was inside the women’s bathroom peering and had gloves on.” Martin appeared to be startled, according to the report, and left quickly without the two people exchanging any words. The custodian notified his supervisor after Martin allegedly left the building.
“No one followed me out,” said Martin on Saturday.
The report indicates that security footage from the school did not contradict the custodian’s memory of the incident. In the report, Martin denied ever entering the girls’ bathroom, but after being told, there was a witness “indicated he may have stepped out of the hallway into the little area at the entrance to the bathroom.” The report continues to say “Martin then made a statement about defining when the bathroom begins and when it ends.”
In the report, Martin said he was at the school to find out who had won the girls basketball game and his actions were entirely innocent. The report, however, says “Martin indicated that he saw several kids in the gym, but for some reason, he did not ask the kids who won the game.”
On Saturday, Martin told Idaho Reports he was attempting to find out the score of his grand-niece’s basketball game. Martin talked to Idaho Reports while attending a volleyball game in the Magic Valley.
When Martin was asked by investigators what he thought he was being accused of “he stated he did not want to say it out loud or write it down,” says the report. “Martin then made several statements about knowing who he was and living a kind of life. Martin later stated he thought the accusation, because of the investigations, were centered on something to the effect of a peeping Tom.”
“Nothing in that report is true outside of me being at the school,” Martin told Idaho Reports.
Security cameras captured the second incident in 2014 outside the school. “Cameras showed a man who appeared to be Fred Martin pull up in a red Mustang,” says the report. “Martin first checked the two center main doors then checked the most eastern main door. Martin had negative results as all doors were locked. In the video, it shows Martin looking over his right shoulder as he was approaching the building as he was checking the doors. Martin walked back towards his vehicle where he was intercepted by a custodian who asked Martin if he needed help.”
Officers questioned Martin in his legislative office after the second incident. In those interviews, the report suggests Martin may have been receiving information about the investigation from sources within law enforcement “It appeared law enforcement was somehow involved in Martin obtaining information about the investigation on both occasions.”
Martin has never been arrested or tried for any of the actions in either report, and the investigators ultimately concluded no criminal activity that could be prosecuted was identified in the investigation.
“I will not be intimidated, I know who I am and those that know me, know who I am,” Martin told Idaho Reports Saturday. “Those who love me, know who I am.”
If you’d like to read the report here it is: