More emphasis on facts needed in Orozco case
Reporter John Miller’s story in The Taos News about the mistrial in the case of the kidnapping in Peñasco was riveting. But, for me, it raised more questions than it answered.
Judging by the story, this trial by Judge Sarah Backus could have used a lot less testimony on the opinions and state of mind of the victim and more emphasis on the actual facts of what happened. Remember, this young lady was a juvenile and couldn’t legally give her consent to any adult even if she had wanted to. And every adult of 18 years or older is responsible for obeying that law.
By the way, I’m surprised that one or both of the girl’s grandparents didn’t have a heart attack if they were threatened with a gun in their own home. This was not fun and games or puppy love, folks. It was a crime.
I think the prosecution and the judge should include expert testimony in the next trial about the effects of kidnapping on the victims. Most people are aware of the hostage syndrome, which can result in sympathetic opinions of their captors by some victims. Also, the girl, in this case, is apparently still afraid of retaliation by the suspect, which may have influenced her statements.
Despite the ambiguous nature of some of the victim’s testimony, there is obviously plenty of probable cause to prosecute Cristian Orozco to the full extent of the law in a new trial. Let’s hope and pray that District Attorney Donald Gallegos and his staff, and Sarah Backus, will start delivering on serious consequences for serious crimes in Northern New Mexico—without lenient plea agreements or pretrial releases. In the meantime . . . Annie, get your gun.