Ex-RHS teacher makes bail

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By The Staff

A magistrate judge on Wednesday decided to keep a former Robertson High School teacher’s bail the same, despite a defense attorney’s request for a reduction.

Shortly after a hearing, the teacher, Jay Quintana made bail and was released.

Quintana, who is accused of sexually abusing a student for years, appeared on video during an arraignment in Magistrate Court. Attending the hearing were his family members, including his wife, LeeEtte Quintana, associate superintendent for the Las Vegas City Schools.

Quintana was arrested and charged Tuesday with a felony count of criminal sexual contact with a minor and 14 felony counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor. The victim was a female student.

Quintana’s attorney, Aaron Boland, entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of his client.

In making his arguments for a lower bond to Magistrate Judge Philip Romero, Boland said the alleged victim’s filing of a civil complaint — rather than going to the police — raised questions about her motivation.

Boland said Quintana had been a lifelong resident of Las Vegas who had never been in trouble with the law before. He said his client had known about the allegations since the civil complaint surfaced in January, but he hadn’t left the area.

“He has no intention to flee. He had plenty of opportunity to do that,” the attorney said.

Also, Quintana hadn’t had any communications with the alleged victim in some time, Boland said.

He asked that Quintana’s bond be reduced to $50,000.

District Attorney Richard Flores, however, said the possibility of being a flight risk wasn’t the only factor to consider when setting bail. He said the seriousness of the charges merited the $100,000 bond.

He said the alleged victim’s parents live near Quintana and that she was likely coming for the holidays and may run into the former teacher if he were at large.

Judge Romero took the state’s side. He said he wouldn’t go against his mentor, District Judge Eugenio Mathis, who set the $100,000 bond. Romero let the bond stand.

Romero said both he and fellow local magistrate, Chris Najar, had excused themselves from the case. He said it was likely that a state district judge would handle Quintana’s preliminary hearing, where a judge would determine whether there is probable cause to take the case to trial.

In January, Las Vegas City Schools officials found out about the allegations against Quintana when Santa Fe attorney Merit Bennett filed a notice of a possible lawsuit.

The details alleged in the affidavit filed in Magistrate Court paint a picture of constant sexual abuse extending over several years, from 2003 through 2006. Quintana’s alleged victim is now 20, meaning that the abuse started when she was 14.

According to the affidavit, Quintana told her when she was in the ninth grade that he was attracted to her and wanted them to have “a relationship which would lead to sex and eventually, love.”

The affidavit details how he forced her to touch his genitals with her hand not long after that, how he had unprotected sex with her in various places, including his bedroom, his daughter’s bedroom, his bathroom, his pickup truck and her father’s bedroom. The affidavit states that Quintana had sex with the victim roughly every week during her junior and senior years and at one point engaged in sodomy and oral sex with her as well.

The affidavit also alleges that Quintana had sex with his victim in a number of places on the school grounds, including his classroom weekly.

It was Quintana’s alleged penchant for sex in varied surroundings that was his eventual downfall. The victim identified various potential places where Quintana’s semen might be.

According to the affidavit, Quintana had sex with his victim in a room of the Robertson High School gym called variously the “golf simulator room” and “the virtual reality room,” and this was one of the places she identified as one where Quintana’s semen might be found.

Indeed, investigators found suspected bodily fluids on the carpet of the golf simulator room, and the New Mexico Crime Lab found upon DNA testing of the material that Quintana was “to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty”  the source of the semen on the carpet.