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Mora man to go to prison after all

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By David Giuliani

Clifford Gutierrez, the Mora County man convicted of groping a number of girls, has been sentenced to six years in prison after violating the terms of his probation.

In October, Gutierrez, 35, was sentenced to probation at the request of victims’ families. But District Judge Eugenio Mathis told Gutierrez that he would sentence him to prison if he saw him in his court again.

In September, the district attorney’s office was informed by the adult probation and parole office that Gutierrez had violated his probation by going to the state fair in Albuquerque without getting permission from his probation officer. The DA asked state District Court to revoke Gutierrez’s probation.

Gutierrez later admitted to the violation, and he agreed to report to the state Department of Corrections for a 60-day evaluation, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office.

His attorney, Geoffrey Scovil, said in District Court that his client had “screwed up” and that because Gutierrez had been in jail since the request to revoke his probation was filed, he had missed out on several family gatherings, including those during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the press release states.

District Attorney Richard Flores argued that Gutierrez was in a state of denial and the risk of his committing a sex offense again was moderate to high.

In the evaluations, Gutierrez said he “maybe” wrongfully touched one victim and that this particular victim “came on to him,” the press release states.

Scovil said Gutierrez reacted to the prison sentence with a “great deal of stoicism” and that his client has no plans to appeal or ask for reconsideration of his sentence.

Scovil noted that the judge warned there would be serious consequences if Gutierrez violated the terms of the probation. He said it was the “graciousness” of the Gutierrez’s accusers that his client was allowed to be on probation in the first place.

Gutierrez’s case attracted statewide news last year when Mathis decided to allow Gutierrez to live and work in the Albuquerque area. Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez complained publicly that the local court was dumping a sex offender on his community.

However, Flores said at the time that this was an unfair characterization, given that Albuquerque courts had entered similar arrangements where its offenders were allowed to live in the Las Vegas area.

When Gutierrez was sentenced, the families of his victims asked the court to keep him away from Mora.