Martin Morales case at standstill due to lack of information


CollgeGlen apartments are the sight where the alleged molestation and burglary crime involving Martin Morales took place. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

In what has been an ongoing investigation into the background of Martin Morales, a former Chico State student charged with molestation and burglary, The Orion has been in search of anyone who may know him.

Associated Students, University Housing, the Hungry Wildcats Food Pantry and the University of Communications have all been contacted in regards to Morales’ involvement with them. They have all stated that they are not authorized to release information on any student.

When asked what they could say, an employee of the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry said, “We had to go through a lot of retraining. I’ve been trained to respond when I see or hear things, so we do go over those sorts of topics very regularly.”

When asked if the retraining had anything do with Morales’ case they said, “No, with any person we are just required to go through a lot of retraining.”

Acting Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students Sandy K. Parsons-Ellis helped clarify student privacy. “If you were in the same situation I would protect your rights just the same. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) tells me to do this. I am legally bound by this.”

Parsons-Ellis also stated she didn’t know if FERPA protected students currently suspended but in her mind, it would. The educational record of the student is protected during the time for which the student was enrolled.

The 1000 block of Columbus Avenue where the crime was allegedly committed by Morales was also investigated. Over 40 residents doors were knocked on but only two were aware of Morales’ arrest last month.

A resident of the College-Glen Apartments confirmed that the crime happened in the complex and another resident claimed to have spoken to police the night of the incident.

Morales’ attorney was also reached for comment but had no response.

The McDonald’s on Mangrove Avenue was also a location Morales was employed at. When asked about him, the manager said they had been told not to speak about him.

This all comes after the Sep. 5 hearing for Morales. Friends, family, and members of the Men of Chico (another group on campus Morales was involved in) were present. A few were reached out to for comment but refused to speak on Morales’ case.

Morales waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is set to have his next court appearance on Oct. 3.

Ricardo Tovar can be reached at @rtovarg13 on Twitter.