Peñasco man pleads guilty to raping teen
A Peñasco man admitted he raped a 14-year-old girl multiple times from March 2016 to September 2017 Thursday (Dec. 13) in Taos District Court.
James Brown, 44, a former employee with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual penetration in the third degree, all third-degree felonies, as part of a plea agreement reached Thursday with the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
The charges carry a total maximum sentence of 18 years in prison, according to New Mexico statutes. Brown will be listed as a sex offender as part of the agreement.
New Mexico State Police arrested Brown in October 2017, charging him with nine other counts of criminal sexual penetration, three in the first degree, which were dropped as part of the agreement.
A sentencing hearing will be held within the next 45 days, a delay that frustrated family members of the teen victim who attended Thursday’s plea conference.
The victim’s boyfriend reported the crimes to state police in October 2017, telling them that Brown had raped his girlfriend, who was then 14, somewhere between 25-30 times, according to court documents.
The crimes began soon after Brown began dating the mother of the victim. The young girl reported in interviews with a forensic nurse that the 44-year-old would rape her in his trailer and sometimes in his truck.
She and her mother are both expected to speak about their experiences at Brown’s sentencing hearing, which had not been set as of Wednesday (Dec. 19).
James Brown, 44, of Peñasco pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual penetration Thursday (Dec. 13) as part of a plea deal related to the rape of a 14-year-old girl in 2016 and 2017.