The remarkable details from Catholic News Agency:
Arturo Martinez-Sanchez says he had no choice but to forgive the man suspected of sexually assaulting and killing his wife and young daughter in an April 2012 attack that also left him seriously wounded.
“I have to forgive him, to go the way of life,” the Las Vegas resident told CNA in a July 17 interview. “It’s in the Bible … I forgive him because I believe in God.”
“The Bible says: You forgive this gentleman, and you are forgiven yourself. That’s the way it is,” said Martinez-Sanchez, a lifelong Catholic who said his upbringing and education in the Church impressed on him the need to forgive Bryan Clay.
Martinez-Sanchez recently held a press conference to declare that he forgave the 22-year-old Clay, who is accused of raping Arturo’s 38-year-old wife Yadira and their 10-year-old daughter Karla. Both were beaten to death with a hammer by the attacker, who also inflicted severe head injuries on the father.
Clay and Martinez-Sanchez did not know each other before the home invasion, described by a Las Vegas police lieutenant as “a random, savage act.” The 39-year-old father and his wife also had two sons, Christopher and Alejandro, who were spared in the attack.
Arturo underwent two brain surgeries along with extensive physical therapy. He still speaks with difficulty, and continues to receive six hours of treatment each day.
But he has summoned the strength to reopen the boxing gym he ran before the murders. And through his faith in God, he has set aside any form of hatred or desire for personal vengeance against the suspected killer.
Accompanied by his sons, he stunned listeners at the July 12 press conference with his response to a reporter who asked what he would say to Bryan Clay, given the chance.
“I would say, ‘I forgive you,’” he responded. “If he kissed me on the cheek, I would kiss him back.”
“I love my Yadira. I love my Karla. I love my sons,” Martinez-Sanchez said at the press conference. “We all love Jesus. Through his strength, we will survive.”