MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Marta San Jose, charged in a twisted tale of sex abuse that lead to a suicide and attempted suicide, was in Miami-Dade court Thursday where the state, for a second time, delayed formally arraigning her on a host of felony offenses. The defense and prosecution agreed that San Jose is a troubled young woman.
“I have no objection to her going to a facility for treatment, which I think we both feel is necessary in this case,” Assistant State Attorney Jesse Friedman told the judge.
San Jose, 21, and 50-year-old Dale Leary were charged in late June with committing a litany of vile sex offenses at Leary’s Cutler Bay home. Leary and his then wife Claudia brought San Jose, an exchange student, from Spain when she was sixteen. When she turned 18 Leary married her, divorced his wife Claudia and brought San Jose’s little sister, 14 years old, to their home from Spain. Leary and his young bride allegedly made the younger sister join in all manner of sex acts and pornographic taping.
Released on bond, Leary killed himself in a car behind his home, using a hose attached to the exhaust pipe. Also in the car was Leary’s ex-wife Claudia, who had continued to live in the house with Leary and his young bride for three years. Claudia Leary survived the carbon monoxide, has made a full recovery and is back at work as an administrator at Miami-Dade Schools. Her job does not involve contact with students.
In court Thursday, San Jose’s attorney said he hopes to bring her mother here from Spain.
“To be back together with her mother, I think it would help the case incredibly,” said defense attorney Jorge Viera.
Viera said it’s his hope that San Jose will be granted a makeable bond at a hearing scheduled for August 29th, and be allowed to stay with her mother in South Florida as the case plays out.
The attorney said San Jose is not a criminal, but a victim of Dale Leary, a “skilled manipulator.” Viera said San Jose was also a victim of the Chicago-based agency CCI Greenheart, which approved the Leary home as a “host” for exchange students, even though Leary had prior convictions for sex offenses. CCI Greenheart told CBS4 News in a written statement earlier this month that the Leary case has prompted a full review of its procedures.
Judge Richard Hersch appeared sympathetic to San Jose at one point Thursday.
“You holding up okay?” the judge asked her. “Yes,” she replied.
A source close to the case tells CBS4 News Claudia Leary, the ex-wife who failed in her suicide attempt, remains very much a person of “focus” in the ongoing investigation.
Leary has retained an attorney, Brandine Powell.
“I don’t expect them to find anything to implicate her in the alleged sex abuse,” Powell told CBS4 News. Powell said Leary has given no formal statement to investigators.
Police said both Dale and Claudia Leary left suicide notes in the July 4th attempted double suicide. The contents of the notes has not been revealed.