More em­pha­sis on facts needed in Orozco case

The Taos News - - FAVOR Y CONTRA - By Jerry Year­gin Jerry Year­gin lives in Taos County.

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.

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