Marquez released until sentencing

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Johnny Marquez was released from custody at a warrant hearing Monday in 7th Judicial District Court pending his sentencing on child molestation charges stemming from 2011.

Marquez, who pleaded no contest to two counts of criminal sexual contact with a child under 13, was arrested last week.

A bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he did not show up for his sentencing July 2. His attorney was also absent from the sentencing and had not filed a continuance with the court.

Another sentencing hearing in the case has yet to be scheduled at District Court.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case last August, a Socorro Police Department detective was asked to meet with another SPD officer at a city residence on June 26, 2012, in reference to a possible sexual assault. The victim’s mother relayed to police what her daughter had told her.

The complaint states the victim, a little girl, had told her mother that Marquez, a family friend, had touched her sexually in 2011 when Marquez took her for a drive. Marquez had been drinking with the child’s grandfather the night of the incident and offered to take the child for a drive.

The child’s mother told police that after the drive, the child did not want to talk to anyone, and that she has had behavioral problems ever since. The child was always angry after that, and was taking anxiety medication at the time the mother reported the abuse to the police.

During a safe house interview July 6, 2012, according to the criminal complaint, the child disclosed two incidents of inappropriate touching by Marquez. In addition to the drive when Marquez had touched her between her legs as she sat on his lap, the child described an incident at her grandfather’s house that happened prior to the driving incident. The child could not give exact dates, but said she was the same age, 11, during both incidents.

The detective questioned Marquez at his home on Fatima Road on July 9, 2012, according to the criminal complaint. At first Marquez denied all the child’s allegations, but after talking to the detective for some time he admitted to placing his hand inside the child’s pants on the night he took her for a drive.