Judge asked to take DA off case

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By David Giuliani

Robertson High School’s former football coach, who is accused in connection with attacks during a team camp, is questioning the impartiality of the district attorney and a state police captain.

The coach, Ray Woods, is charged with failure to report child abuse in connection with the attacks during the camp last August in the Gallinas Canyon.

His attorney, Martin Esquivel, last week asked Magistrate Court to dismiss the case and disqualify District Attorney Richard Flores from the case because the prosecutor has already stated that his office had conflicts of interest in cases involving the youths charged with sodomizing teammates with broomsticks.

Flores has previously confirmed that one of his employees’ sons is a victim in the case and another employee is related to a suspect.

As a result, the DA’s office and the youth defendants agreed to change the venue of the case. The cases were moved to Santa Fe.

In a pleading to Magistrate Judge James Moncayo, Esquivel questioned the involvement of state police Capt. Toby Dolan in law enforcement’s initial response to the assaults.

According to the state police report, Dolan’s wife, who was a chaperone during the camp, called him to report that she had heard reports that players were attacking their teammates.

When the team bus arrived at Robertson High School, a plainclothes Dolan stood waiting. To school officials, Dolan showed a copy of the state law requiring that adults report child abuse to authorities.

“Dolan’s action indicated a bias in addition to the fact that he was a parent of one of the players,” Esquivel stated.

The attorney also said Dolan was present at the state police interviews of both his wife and son. He said Dolan’s actions may have affected subordinate employees that he asked to investigate the matter.

However, Dolan said in an interview that he recognized the potential conflict of interest early on. He said his uniformed officers secured the scene and then state police detectives from Santa Fe investigated the matter. None of the investigators answer to Dolan.

“I didn’t supervise in any way, shape or form,” the captain said.

Asked about Esquivel’s request, Flores said he would fight any motions in court.

Other adults charged with failure to report child abuse were Superintendent Richard Romero, Athletic Director Mike Yara and former assistant coaches Adam Alvarez and Ikaika Neizman.

Six football players were charged with sexual crimes in connection with the attacks at the mid-August camp in the Gallinas Canyon. All of them have been placed on long-term suspension from school. Two of the players have been found guilty so far.

Woods, who lives in Albuquerque and is no longer coaching, has said he is confident that he’ll be cleared.

Romero and Yara remain employed with the district. All of the coaches resigned a couple of weeks after the assaults were reported.