Clerks: No legal unions for gays

By David Arkin County clerks in eastern New Mexico were surprised by a Sandoval County clerk’s decision to grant gay and lesbian couples marriage licenses. On Friday, Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap recorded 26 licenses for gay and lesbian couples, which Attorney General Patricia Madrid quickly declared invalid. There were another 40 other couples who […]

Welcome to Texas, where Big Brother rules

Leonard Pitts Jr. It’s just the sort of thing you’d expect from Iran. A woman runs afoul of local religious authorities who are angered by her refusal to cover up. But it isn’t just her immodest style of dress that riles the ayatollahs. They have also heard rumors that she sells sex toys from her […]

Clovis, crime, halftime on readers’ minds

Project: Reader Reaction Members of Project: Reader Reaction were recently asked for comments on any issue they had on their minds. Some responses: “I moved here in 1989 because it was a small community in which my husband and I would finish raising our kids. The Army gave us the choice of New York City […]

Politicians offer little in same-sex marriage issue

Commentary Recent events related to the issue of same-sex marriage didn’t so much change as reveal the still evolving status of this controversial idea as a political issue. President Bush offered a carefully worded defense of “the sanctity of marriage” in his State of the Union address, and Ohio lawmakers approved a measure declaring that […]

Sex contract idea is dubious at best

Leonard Pitts Jr. You knew this was coming. It followed as naturally as broken promises follow elections, the inevitable byproduct of Kobe Bryant’s arrest last summer on charges of raping a 19-year-old hotel worker. She says he forced himself on her, he says the sex was consensual. A jury will decide. But a Los Angeles-based […]

Lawyers disagree on sex-crime legislation

By Darrell Todd Maurina New laws passed recently by the New Mexico legislature markedly increase penalties for sex offenders whose victims are children. Two criminal defense attorneys who have handled sex-related cases in the 9th Judicial District have opposite views of the new legislation. Clovis attorney Michael Garrett said the new laws give prosecutors important […]

Local officials not impressed with special session

By Darrell Todd Maurina Local elected officials praised the recent decision to increase sex-offender penalties, but didn’t have much else good to say about the special session of the state legislature. “I think the timing was poor; everything we accomplished I think we could have done in January,” said Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis. Sen. Stuart […]

Expansion of state’s sex offender laws squelched

Staff and wire reports House Democrats have squelched Republican attempts to get an expansion of the state’s sex offender registration law on the special session calendar. A House committee ruled Tuesday that toughening the state’s so-called Megan’s Law could not be considered in the session. Then, by a 35-28 vote on the House floor, Democrats […]

Sex-ring suspect arrested

By Darrell Todd Maurina Harry Robbs, the fourth person charged in connection with a child-sex ring in Clovis, was picked up about 1 p.m. Thursday by the United States Marshals Service while serving soup in a Santa Fe soup kitchen, Clovis police said. Robbs, 40, had been sought since a warrant for his arrest was […]

Suspects have no prior sex charges

By Darrell Todd Maurina Of the four people named so far in connection with a child sex ring in Clovis, none are listed on the state’s sex offender registry and only one has an extensive criminal history, according to New Mexico computerized case records. The records include convictions dating to 1997 and some before that. […]

Sex-crime suspect arraigned

Darrell Todd Maurina A woman whose husband is among those accused of multiple sex acts involving children said Wednesday the allegations are false. “It’s hard to believe. We had a good name and it’s ruined,” Jeanette Martin said. “All the stuff that’s gone on has messed up my name, and (my husband) worked hard all […]

Crime reporting like walking highwire

By David Stevens One of the more difficult decisions media outlets have to make on a regular basis is whether or not to publish the names of sex-crime victims. The issue has been in the national spotlight this month because of allegations that pro basketball star Kobe Bryant raped a woman in Colorado. Most mainstream […]

Clovis man gets 41 years for criminal sexual penetration

By Darrell Todd Maurina Editor’s note: The Clovis News Journal intentionally withheld information from the following story in an effort to protect the identity of the victims. Richard Swopes, 41, of St. Vrain, will spend at least 35 years in prison on a 41-year sentence following his guilty plea to three counts of criminal sexual […]

Sex offender required to register

Court decision means sex offender must register STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS SANTA FE — The state Supreme Court has refused to hear a case involving a Clovis man who asked to be exempted from New Mexico’s sex offender registry. By denying a request to consider the matter, the court lets stand a ruling last September […]