Pvt Rosa Martinez, US Army, Murdered at Fort Dix by National Guardsman Jose Aponte After She Resisted His Sexual Advances (1987)

US Army

Pvt Rosa Martinez, 21, US Army, from Elsa, Texas was found dead on April 11, 1987 at Fort Dix in New Jersey. She was attending an eight week cooking course at the base. Her body was discovered badly burned in a refuse bin on base. An autopsy report showed that she had died of strangulation after having been beaten about the head. Pvt Jose Aponte, 18, of New Jersey was attending a truck driving training course at the base. Aponte admitted in court to knowing Martinez only by sight. The night she was killed they had shared a taxi on a return trip to base. He testified that he left the taxi with her and that when she objected to his advances, he punched her in the face and struck her in the head with a piece of brick. He tried to cover up his crimes by strangling her, throwing her in a refuse bin, and setting it on fire. Aponte pleaded guilty to killing her after she resisted his advances. He was courts-martialed, sentenced to 40 years of hard labor, and dishonorably discharged from the military.

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