Ex-Local 10 employee under criminal investigation

Rafael Martinez, 60, is accused of recording videos of co-workers in private settings without their consent. The Broward Sheriff's Office is in possession of his company cellphone.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A criminal investigation is underway involving a Local 10 News employee who was fired last week.

Rafael Martinez, 60, is accused of recording videos of other employees in private settings without their consent.

WPLG has fired the engineer, who had been at the station for more than 20 years.

Martinez’s company cellphone is now in the hands of the Broward Sheriff’s Office. On that phone are several videos from under the anchor desk in our main studio, from our control room and from a newsroom set we call “the tower” — a raised platform we use for breaking news, news updates and to introduce stories to you.

Last week, after a complaint by an employee, station management immediately confiscated Martinez’s cellphone and found the inappropriate and illegal videos.

We’ve reported on crimes like this before. It’s called “upskirting.” But this time it hits home, with three of our co-workers identified as the victims.

In some of the videos, Martinez’s cellphone camera is pointed up their skirt. In others, his cellphone is placed in obscure locations aimed to capture private images.

Local 10′s internal camera system at the station showed Martinez planting his cellphone on the tower.

”This is an illegal action. That is why we got BSO involved immediately,” said Bert Medina, president and CEO of WPLG, Inc. “It is our responsibility to report something like this. As painful as it is to have it occur in the WPLG family, it is our responsibility to get law enforcement involved.”

As with any suspect, we went to Martinez’s house to ask why.

He was not home.

“We are going out with this story because if we cover the news every day, we need to be transparent when happens in our building,” Medina said. “And to the viewers, we pledge that we will be completely transparent as this story develops.”

The Broward Sheriff’s Office will conduct a forensic investigation to see if there are more victims and if any of the videos were disseminated.

An arrest is likely, and we will of course keep you posted.


About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.