ALBUQUERQUE – Gordon Chavez, 35, a former probation officer with the New Mexico Department of Corrections Division of Probation and Parole, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to charges related to the sexual assault of a probationer whom he supervised. Chavez pleaded guilty to one count of violating the victim’s right to bodily integrity when he touched her against her will. Chavez also pleaded guilty to one count of making material false statements to the FBI when he denied both inappropriately touching females whom he supervised and asking for naked photos of them.
According to court documents, Chavez, a long-time probation officer, engaged in escalating sexually inappropriate behavior toward the victim, a woman under his supervision since May 2012. As part of probation and parole, the victim was required to attend mandatory meetings at Chavez’s office. During one of those meetings on Nov. 26, 2012, Chavez fondled the victim’s breast through and underneath her shirt without the victim’s consent. Chavez was later captured on a recording apologizing for his actions.
During that same Nov. 26, 2012, meeting with the victim, Chavez also instructed the victim to bring revealing photos of herself on her cellular phone to the next office visit scheduled for Nov. 30, 2012. When the victim brought clothed photos of herself, Chavez specifically asked her to bring naked photos. That conversation was also captured on a recording.
On Dec. 4, 2012, FBI agents conducted a recorded interview of Chavez during which he denied inappropriately touching any female under his supervision. He also denied asking any female under his supervision for naked photographs.
During the plea hearing, Chavez acknowledged that his actions toward the victim were wrong and against the law. Chavez further admitted that he lied to the FBI when he was interviewed about his conduct toward females whom he supervised.
As part of the plea agreement, in addition to a prison sentence, Chavez will forfeit his law enforcement certification. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Baker for the District of New Mexico and Trial Attorney Fara Gold of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. [read the full story here