If there is a “poster boy” for the death penalty it would be Mark Dean Schwab. He is the monster in our closet. He is the example of how pedophiles pray on our children. Groom them, gain their trust and the trust of their parents. And then brutally rape them; physically, mentally and spiritually.
Mark Dean Schwab first sexually assaulted a young boy in the fall of 1986 when Schwab was 17 years old. His second assault was on a 13 year old boy in 1987 at knife point. The boy reported the incident and Schwab confessed and plead guilty to sexual battery. That crime was punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 40 years. He was sentenced to only 8 and served FOUR.
In early March of 1991 Schwab was released from prison. Back into society and amongst our children once again.
Junny Rios-Martinez, Jr. was an 11 year old boy who was 5 feet tall and weighed 76lbs. Juny had won a kite-flying contest in which the local paper ran a small story and a picture of him. The day after the article ran in the newspaper Mark Dean Schwab called and stated that his name was Malcom Denemark and that he was from the newspaper.
Schwab told Mrs. Rios-Martinez that he had seen Junny’s picture in the paper and wanted to interview Junny for another article. And so began the grooming of the boy and his family.
Over the next few weeks Schwab came to the home of Junny, pretending to interview him and his family. Carrying a spiral notebook and jotting down things that were said. Eventually he learned that Junny was into surfing and told the family that he had taken another position with a surfing magazine.
He told them that the magazine wanted to do a photo shoot and that he would like to help Junny get sponsored by one of his many contacts that he had with surfing companies. Eventually the family was told Junny had a sponsor. Schwab even brought Junny a t-shirt with the company’s logo on it. He told Junny that he could have whatever surfboard he wanted and that he could even design it himself.
Over the next several days Schwab continued to visit the family, laying out lies of future plans with the company, delivering useless documents and contracts from the surfing company. He told the family that he would like to take Junny to Daytona Beach to meet with the company. The family agreed.
Schwab told Mrs. Rios-Martinez that he would pick Junny up at 10:00AM on Sunday, April 18, 1991. However, that morning he called and canceled the trip.
A week later on Thursday, April 18, 1991 Schwab called Junny’s school and told the bookkeeper he was Junny’s father and that Junny should meet him at the ball field instead of going home on the bus that day. Believing the man was Junny’s father, she contacted Junny’s classroom and had him come to the office and gave him the message.
After school one of Junny’s friends walked with him to the ball field. Junny had a baseball game later that evening so maybe Junny didn’t question it in his mind too much that he would be meeting his father there. Junny’s playmate later described seeing Junny jump the fence onto the field and “some tall guy” getting out of a U-Haul truck. That was the last time anyone besides Schwab saw Junny alive.
Junny’s game stated at 6:30PM that evening and Juny’s mom went to the ball field straight from work. Her husband was there but there was no sign of Juny. Mrs. Rios-Martinez tried calling Schwab at the number he had given her but was unable to reach him. Later that evening Juny was reported missing.
On April 19, Schwab learned from his mother that the police wanted to question him about a missing child. Schwab called his mother back and short time later and told her he was going to see his probation officer, however he never showed.Instead on April 20 he called his Aunt from Port Washington, Ohio – nearly a thousand miles away from Cocoa, Florida where he resided. Schwab concocted a far fetched story of a man named “Donald” and being forced to rape Juny at the direction of “Donald”. Police arrested Schwab the next day by tracing a call he was making while standing at a phone booth.
Junny Rios-Martinez, Jr.’s little body was found in a footlocker in a drainage ditch. He had been deceased for 5 days. When the footlocker was examined and the lid cut open, there lay Juny naked, in a semi-fetal position.
An autopsy determined that Junny died from “mechanical asphyxia”, probably smothering or strangulation. One of the wadded up pieces of duct tape had Schwab’s finger print on it.
Schwab retold the story of a man named Donald forcing him to rape Juny and that he left Junny with Donald. Schwab actually sent a letter during his trial to the public defender’s office claiming to be “Doug” (I guess Schwab had forgotten his phantom abductor’s name) and that he was the one that killed Junny. He threatened to kidnap and kill one of Juny’s younger brothers because Schwab had spilled the beans on him.
Not surprisingly, Schwab’s fingerprints were found on the letter.
On July 1, 1992, he was sentenced to death for the murder, and two life sentences for the kidnapping and sexual battery of a child under the age of 13 in the case of 11 year old Junny Rios-Martinez, Jr.. In addition, his probation was revoked on the previous rape conviction, and he was re-sentenced to an additional life sentence, giving him a total of three life sentences.
The case led to the passage of the “Junny Rios-Martinez, Jr., Act of 1992”, which prohibited those convicted of sexual battery from receiving early release in the state of Florida.
Yesterday this predator was scheduled to have been put to death in the state of Florida by means of lethal injection. Unfortunately the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday afternoon to delay the execution of Mark Dean Schwab indefinitely.
Officials said another death warrant is not expected until next year or the summer of 2008 at the earliest.
“We know anything can happen,” the victim’s father, Junny Rios Martinez Sr., said.
The victim’s parents headed to the prison in Starke on Thursday morning, where they had planned to witness the execution.”I believe that this pervert, somewhere in that empty space between the two ears, that he really believes that he’s going to walk away from this,” the victim’s father said.
Execution procedures were carried out as normal on Thursday morning before the decision came down to postpone the execution. Vans brought in witnesses and officers stood by to watch over protesters — both for and against. Word spread of the stay and no protestors showed up outside the Florida State Prison.Schwab requested a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and chocolate milk for his last meal, but decided not to eat it when he was told he would his execution was postponed.
After years of waiting and pushing new laws to protect children, the parents of Junny Rios Martinez announced they are satisfied with what they’ve accomplished. The family has backed laws making it harder to get children excused during the school day, and requiring sex offenders and predators to register with the state.
“It’s time to move on. Our son made a difference. He life was not in vain,” the victim’s mother, Vicki Martinez said.
The family said it would be celebrating Junny’s life on Saturday — whether Schwab was executed or not — at the park that was named for Junny in Cocoa. The family said it is their time for closure and to no longer be victims. They said they are sure the execution will come someday.
Until then, we are waiting on justice for Juny.