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Teen sentenced in RHS case

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By The Staff

SANTA FE — A teen who pleaded guilty in the Robertson High School football assault case was sentenced Friday to nine months in a southern New Mexico juvenile detention center and three months of probation.

Jerek Padilla, 17, reached an agreement with prosecutors in January in which he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual penetration and conspiracy charges.

Padilla apologized to the victims in the case before state District Judge Jim Hall sentenced him.

“No one should have to go through what they did just to play football,” Padilla said. “I am sorry I wasn’t strong enough to say no to the pressure. I am ashamed of what I’ve done, and I hope everyone I hurt will forgive me.”

Padilla was led away in handcuffs after the sentencing. He will serve his time at the John Paul Taylor Juvenile Justice Center near Las Cruces.

Padilla and five other players were accused of sodomizing teammates with a broomstick during a football camp in August. The other five have pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy, criminal sexual penetration and kidnapping; they will face trial later this year.

The players were kicked off the football team and out of school after the allegations surfaced.

After Friday’s sentencing, Padilla’s father, John Padilla, became angry when a sheriff’s deputy blocked him from talking to his son.

Deputies unholstered Taser guns and told the father to leave the courthouse or he’d be arrested after he left the courtroom.