Debra Martinez Photo

Debra Martinez

Associate Attorney
  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Associations
  • Notable Work
  • Community Involvement
Bio

Debra Martinez relentlessly fights for those who need a voice. Whether fighting and advocating for survivors of sexual abuse, prosecuting crimes committed against children, defending those accused of other crimes, or evaluating discrimination or harassment in educational institutions, Debra is tenacious, passionate, and fearless.

Debra built sharp advocacy skills from the very start of her career in private practice. Charismatic, analytical, and creative, she has a love for case evaluation and preparation. She is never afraid of a challenge because she is meticulous in evidence collection and review. She believes in transparency and support so clients can make confident and informed decisions about what is right for them.

For 11 years, Debra served the people of Ingham County as an assistant prosecuting attorney. As a prosecutor, she led the Special Victim Unit and litigated complex and often high-profile sexual assault and abuse cases, becoming well known for her trial advocacy skills and impeccable record. Many of these difficult and intense cases often involved child victims and/or the most dangerous serial predators. Debra’s core values surround trauma-informed approach and empowerment to working with all survivors, regardless of gender, identity, age, or ability.

Most recently, Debra worked in the arena of Title IX at Michigan State University (MSU). She acted as Director of Intake and RVSM and Title IX Response and Investigations and as Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Prior to that leadership role, she worked in the MSU Office of Institutional Equity as a Senior Investigator, evaluating and investigating reports of harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, sexual identity, gender identity, and other protected categories. She managed a busy caseload of investigations including sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation in the educational environment.

Debra believes in standing up to do the right thing even if it means standing alone.

Education
  • Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, MI 2000
    • Juris Doctorate
  • Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 1997
    • Bachelor of Science, Sociology (Criminal and Social Justice)
Memberships
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan, P58454
  • Title IX Coordinator, Certified Level II, March 2022
    • Institutional Compliance Solutions
  • Higher Education Investigator, Certified Level II, Institutional Compliance Solutions, March 2021
    • Institutional Compliance Solutions
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace, January 2021
    • University of South Florida Muma College of Business
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Publications
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  • Speaker: “Sexual Assault on College Campuses,” Michigan State University Statewide Psychiatry Human Trafficking Conference (March 2022)
  • Michigan State University WorkLife Office Outstanding Supervisor Award (October 2020)
  • Speaker: “The Child and the Courtroom,” Michigan State University Statewide Psychiatry Human Trafficking Conference (March 2018, 2019)
  • Effectuating Excellence: The Capital Area Response to Sexual Assault, a training to improve services, investigation, and coordination on sexual assault cases for local Capital Area agencies and personnel who work or provided services for survivors. Organizer and presenter. (May 2017)
  • Speaker: The House of Promise: Beauty for Ashes Gala – fundraiser for The House of Promise, a non-profit to raise awareness about human sex trafficking and to provide a safe haven for girls 12 to 22 years old, who have been victims of trafficking or sexual abuse. (April 2016)
Community Involvement
  • MSU President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee 2020-2021
  • MSU LGBT Resource Center Assessment Committee 2020
  • Vice President/Board Member, Small Talk Children’s Assessment Center May 2013-July 2016

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