My Turn

Opinion: DA should take care of business in cases involving children

By Anthony J. Ayala, Talpa
Posted 2/13/19

Individuals who victimize children ask for sympathy for themselves when caught, but they have no right to ask us to disregard their cruelty and the pain they inflict.

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My Turn

Opinion: DA should take care of business in cases involving children

Posted

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj has never been indicted much less convicted for the murder of his three-year-old son, Abdul Ghani Wahhaj, who was found buried in a tunnel like a dog. Last week the district attorney's office dismissed a case against Raymond M. Hernandez, who is accused of molesting his partner's daughter and battering the young girl's friend during a sleepover. Subsequently, Hernandez was arrested two more times for allegedly raping a 19-month-old at the same residence, and then for allegedly raping a 5-year-old at a neighbor's house. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe did his job. I ask the district attorney's office to do their job. There is an obvious problem with Hernandez being released from jail; he must be kept there while he is processed for trial on each of the cases alleged against him.

Children are important to us; and we must stand up for them. Children are important human beings; they have the right to be free from violent attack and assault. We are not talking about a household argument or a domestic spat; we are talking about children who can't protect themselves and who are brutalized with acts of violence and, in the case of Ibn Wahhaj, death. Individuals who victimize children ask for sympathy for themselves when caught, but they have no right to ask us to disregard their cruelty and the pain they inflict. No one condones the sexual abuse of a small child, and a sex act on a child can't nor should be forgiven. We have the greatest tool in the world with our Constitution and Bill of Rights; our children are guaranteed their life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I ask the DA's office to take care of business on this and every other case involving children. Please.

Anthony J. Ayala is an attorney in Talpa.

Editor's note: This opinion piece was submitted after Hernandez turned himself in and was rearrested on a new charge Jan. 28. Hernandez was held in jail until his detention hearing on Feb. 12, when he was released by District Court Judge Jeff McElroy on an unsecured bond pending his next hearing.

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