Man Sells Daughter for Beer

I like beer as much as the next guy, but c’mon . . .

A Salinas, California man accused of selling his 14-year-old daughter into marriage for beer has pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment.  OK, he was also supposed to get $16,000 for his daughter, but the beer was no doubt the most important part of the compensation.

The incident is again raising the specter of how to address certain cultural differences.  The defendant, Marcelino de Jesus Martinez, a citizen of Mexico, apparently perceived the arranged marriage of his young daughter as perfectly acceptable, with the beer and cash acting as a dowry.  In fact, when the intended husband failed to deliver the agreed beer and cash, Martinez called the police, thinking he was the victim in the transaction.

Martinez was originally charged with procuring a child for lewd acts, aiding and abetting statutory rape and child endangerment.  If convicted of those charges he faced 10 years in prison.  But Monday’s plea on the endangerment charge means the 36-year-old man will be sentenced May 7 to up to a year in jail followed by deportation.

Leave a Reply