Lloyd Hartley Martin (Dec. 19, 1942 - May 27, 2021) was an Arkansas-born California Police Detective who was a highly sought-after authority on Child Sexual Abuse during the American pornography panics of the late 70s and early 80s. Like other moral entrepreneurs such as Judianne Densen-Gerber, he went on to face discredit, following repeated outspoken comments made against public institutions such as the Boy Scouts, attempts to abuse his office and what earlier in the 70s appeared to be testimony extortion. A Salon article by James Kincaid later described Martin as "infamous"; an infamy our article summarizes.
Martin is the source of the often-circulated CSA "absurdism" "once a pedophile gets his grip on your son or daughter, you and I as parents cannot compete". He was an open believer in the Snuff Child Porn Conspiracy, asserting in 1977 that Mexican boys were being smuggled across the border in specially designed vehicles with hidden compartments. “They bring them in eight at a time under the floorboards,” Martin told reporters. “Then they take them to a motel and clean them up. It’s getting more violent. It’s as if the kids aren’t enough. Now there’s a need for blood.”
Martin joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1965. In 1976, he helped establish the department’s – and nation’s – first Sexual Exploitation Unit of the Juvenile Division, the Sexually Exploited Child Unit (SECU).
In the late-70s and 80s, he became a "go-to expert" in the field of sexual exploitation of children, being interviewed by 60 Minutes for his work on "kiddie porn" featuring boys. In a 1977 hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary in the House of Representatives, Martin testified that there existed a large-scale national ring of child pornography and boy prostitution. Martin cites a $5 pamphlet called Where The Young Ones Are, described as a directory of playgrounds, bus stations, and other places where children gathered unattended. While he could not produce a copy of this seemingly easy to obtain document in person, he made the unsubstantiated, and one assumes unfalsifiable claim that it had sold over 70,000 copies. To this day, no evidence has been produced or otherwise located proving the existence of this elusive manual.
Martin's uncompromising pursuit of "sexual predators" brought him prominence but also sparked controversy after he publicly criticized several organizations for what he said were inadequate efforts to screen the adults allowed to work with children. Late in 1982, LAPD reassigned Martin from head of the SECU to a lower-level administrative position. Police Captain Robert Taylor said that this was because of his outside activities with an organization he had founded with his wife in 1980, called the Foundation for America’s Sexually Exploited Children, Inc. Martin had repeatedly failed to clarify that he was speaking for his foundation and not for the police department. His characterizations of the Boy Scouts and the Big Brothers of Los Angeles as organizations that gave sex offenders access to boys, also factored into the 1982 decision to sideline him. He eventually negotiated a retirement from the department in 1984.
Martin and the abuse "pipeline" or "slippery slope" myth
Martin was a firm believer in the now-outdated theory that minors who were (as he put it) "seduced", would go on to commit indecent acts themselves. This is also known as the "abused-abuser" hypothesis:
Detective Lloyd H. Martin, of the Sexually Exploited Child Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department said "When a child has been coerced or seduced into giving his only true possession - his body - he loses his self respect and his morality. If he doesn't care about himself, how can he care about somebody else? Such a child could be destroyed psychologically and may never be a productive member of our society". Sgt. Martin has also observed that "..the sexually exploited child of today has a good possibility of becoming the hardcore criminal of tomorrow."
This myth was built upon long-standing conspiratorialist fears about the gay "recruitment" of children and teenagers that are reflected today as grooming hysteria. Scott De Orio identifies Martin as an important figure in the laundering of these concerns in the 80s:
In response to the decreasing popularity of “the homosexual” as a demonic figure, law enforcement officials such as the LAPD detective Lloyd Martin refocused their energies on demonizing the “pedophile.” By focusing less on homosexuality per se and more on other, less sympathetic deviant subjects, who remained outside the boundaries of identity politics, conservatives managed to pursue a law-and-order agenda with respect to sex crimes unhindered by resistance from gay and progressive activists (p 40) [...] Martin was a law enforcement entrepreneur who was making a career out of fomenting social concern about child sexual abuse in general and gay pedophiles in particular [...] he had coordinated police crackdowns on alleged “chicken hawks”—adult men with a sexual interest in underage boys—in Los Angeles since the early 1970s. “This particular film,” Martin explained about a video he presented on the 60 Minutes special, “I would say, was produced by a ‘chicken hawk.’ That is, an adult male who likes little boys. And I would guarantee you that the two boys that are depicted in this film have been molested by this male prior to this production.” (pp 120-121)
According to gay author, John Mitzel, Martin also used a peculiar and somewhat alarming device to get his points across during a speech at Boston University School of Nursing's "celebratory banquet/wing-ding party" of self-appointed CSA experts in the early 80s. He would, according to Mitzel, repeatedly exclaim "I, Lloyd Martin, am a paedophile and here is how I operate...". Mitzel, taking notes, also described Martin as a "semi-literate" who was "deeply sick and opportunistic in the manner of a self-made promoter".
"A homicide, once committed, is over," he said in an interview. "But a crime against a child is never over. It has ruined a life."
Los Angeles Police estimate that adults in this city alone exploited over 30,000 children under seventeen in 1976, and photographed many of them in the act.
Describing an LA restaurant frequented by pederasts (which he claimed two days later, hosted a meat rack of boys aged from as young as 6-17):
"We have no problem finding our sex offenders here," Martin said. "But we don't have laws to detain them."
Asked about the example of a 14-year-old boy who identifies as gay:
We must protect him until he is 18 . . . from himself and from the pedophile he will find who will give him love and attention. . . . The pedophile will destroy the boy’s soul.
Cornell University keep documents that may have more information on Martin.
- Polkio: Lloyd Hartley Martin (Obit)
- PRD article detailing Martin's implication in extortion of testimony, citing 1974 articles from gay magazine The Advocate
- Mitzel, “LA Vice Cop Lloyd Martin Moved to Administrative Job,” Gay Community News, March 27, 1982
- Is this child pornography? Kincaid, James R. Salon, 31 Jan 2000
- The encyclopedia of conspiracies and conspiracy theories (2005), pp. 328-329.
- BoyWiki: Ann W. Burgess Banquet
- What If . . . I Say No - Haddad and Martin. See also, Martin and Haddad (1982). "We Have a Secret".
- De Orio, Punishing Queer Sexuality in the Age of LGBT Rights (2017)
- Note: De Orio also notes: "On May 15 of that year, the CBS news program 60 Minutes broadcast a special report entitled “Kiddie Porn” that, after briefly discussing adult sexual interest in underage girls, focused for the rest of its exposé on erotic magazines with pictures of boys and footage of teenage male hustlers turning tricks on the street. The program substantiated the claim that the sexual abuse of young boys by homosexual men was extremely widespread through an interview with the Los Angeles Police Department detective Lloyd Martin."
- Patrick Califia, “The Age of Consent: An Issue and Its Effects on the Gay Movement, Part One,” Advocate, October 16, 1980.
- United States, Sexual Exploitation of Children: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-Fifth Congress, First Session . . . May 23, 25, June 10, and September 20, 1977 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977).
- HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON JUVENILE JUSTICE OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY UNITED STATES SENATE (Nov, 1981)
- BoyWiki: Judianne Densen-Gerber
- BoyWiki: Gold Cup
- “Notes Made by Mitzel during Lloyd Martin’s Banquet Speech,” PAN, April 1981. This copy also contains the article used to build the BoyWiki piece on the Wolbert-Burgess banquet at a nursing college
- Cornell's NAMBLA collection