Clovis man pleads in molestation case

Larry Hatcher pleaded no contest Friday to seven counts of child molestation.

A Clovis man originally charged with 143 counts of child molestation reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded no contest to seven counts Friday.

Larry Hatcher, 49, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Hatcher’s four-day trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday. It would have been his second in the case after a deadlocked jury resulted in an October mistrial.

Hatcher is the brother of former Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher, who’s now the police chief in Tucumcari.

Larry Hatcher was charged in December 2007 after the now-teenage victim told school officials he had been molesting her for seven years or more.

He was initially held on a $2 million bond that was later reduced in district court, allowing for his release with electronic monitoring.

Following the mistrial, prosecutors reduced the number of counts against Hatcher to 116 and again presented the case to the court.

Hatcher was returned to jail in February after the jail administrator told a district court judge Hatcher had made her female officers uncomfortable with language he’d been using.

According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, the victim stated the plea satisfied her and she expressed regret for the pain the process has caused her family. She said