Plea deal bungled, hearing delayed in child rape case


Correction appended

A proposed plea agreement in the case of a man accused of raping and molesting children in 2015 was fumbled in Taos District Court Friday (Sept. 29).

After several delays, the victims' family heard from the court that the agreement signed by defendant Raymond Martinez and the state contained an erroneous sentencing period. Judge Jeff McElroy postponed the hearing, in part, as a result of the mistake.

Though the actual document did not surface until later, district attorney John Lovelace stated that Martinez was to plead guilty to the lesser of three charges: criminal sexual contact with a child under 13 years old, a third-degree felony. According to the plea agreement, he would serve three years of probation minus 162 days of probation credit for time already served. He would also be required to register as a sex offender and complete treatment.

During one delay in the court's proceedings, McElroy, Lovelace, and defense attorney Boglarka Foghi gathered at the bench to privately discuss what was contained in the agreement.

After the meeting, McElroy stated to the court that the sentencing for the charge was actually a potential six years of time served, not three, as stated in the agreement.

The error, along with other developments, including the family's request to make statements to the court in dispute of the agreement, meant that the hearing would have to be postponed, according to McElroy.

"The parties have an agreement," he said, "but what they signed apparently didn't have the right technical language, so they need to try and change the plea agreement to get that lined up. And that's not really been completed yet - I don't think - because it doesn't reflect the six-year potential sentence."

A date and time for the next hearing has not yet been set.

A previous version of this story had stated that the defendant would be incarcerated as part of his sentencing. This has been corrected in the above story to reflect that no incarceration would be served, according to the agrement, only probation.