Multiple Educators Found to Have Deficient Licenses
A 10-month investigation by the Las Vegas Optic revealed that 7 N.M. educators and administrators were given instructional licenses that they were unqualified for. According to a Public Education Department spokesperson, six of them got licenses mistakenly and will likely have them revoked, and the seventh's work experience is being verified. The spokesperson also said that most of the licenses were issued by former Licensure Bureau Director Charles Trujillo, who was arrested in August on federal charges of forgery and fraud after a police investigation revealed that friends and at least one family member at a state college and university had falsified documents that Trujillo used to procure jobs for which he was unqualified. According to the criminal complaint, Trujillo got jobs in the Pecos and Mora school districts by falsely stating he had a Master's degree from New Mexico Highlands University. If convicted on the 17 charges, Charles Trujillo could face up to 117 years in prison and a $130,000 fine.
Mother Sought Out Men to Assault Daughter
The mother of Victoria Martens told police she sought out men to sexually assault her daughter, according to warrants obtained by the Albuquerque Journal. Michelle Martens told police that she had set her daughter up to be sexually assaulted at least three times—once with a co-worker, and twice online through the dating website Plenty of Fish, including the final time with one of Victoria's accused killers. According to her statement, Martens set the encounters up because she enjoyed watching. It is unclear at this time as to how long the abuse had been going on. APD is currently working with federal investigators in regards to the alleged online activity. According to the warrants, police were searching for multiple electronic devices and a video camera they believed may have been used for sexual exploitation of children. Martens, Fabian Gonzales and Jessica Kelley have been charged with kidnapping, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence, conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Kelley and Gonzales are also charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor. Police have yet to identify anyone involved in the alleged earlier assaults.
Woman Sues Shelter Over Cat Bite
A woman is suing the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department after allegedly being bitten by a cat she adopted there. According to court documents, Andrea Hauff adopted a cat named Caspia from a city animal shelter in February 2014. The lawsuit alleges the woman was attacked by the cat within a month of the adoption, resulting in nearly $18,000 in hospital bills. Hauff claims the city is responsible for the injuries, because shelter employees failed to disclose that the cat had been in a behavioral training program called Fraidy Cats, which attempts to rehabilitate cats who have been severely traumatized or abused and have related social problems. The lawsuit is seeking damages from the shelter for negligence. According to shelter records, two weeks after Hauff returned the cat, it was adopted by another family who have not made any complaints. The case against the shelter could go to trial in 2017.