Thursday, May 29, 2008

NM State newspaper editor charged with sexual assault

The head on New Mexico State University's student newspaper was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal sexual penetration, a third degree felony in the state of New Mexico, punishable by up to three years in prison, for performing a sex act on an unconscious woman.

[21 year old Richard] Reyes was recently elected as the editor of The Round Up, a twice weekly newspaper, for the upcoming 2008-09 school year. A board of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University elects the editor. Reyes also has done freelance work for the Sun-News.

Frank Thayer, head of the university's journalism department, said he was surprised to learn of Reyes' arrest.
"He is a top quality writer and has done some good work at The Round Up and in my classes," Thayer said. "I've known him for two and a half years and hate to see this happen."

According to a criminal complaint, the alleged victim is a 20-year-old NMSU student.

The complaint states that the victim was at a party at Reyes' home Monday night. She told investigators she had two glasses of wine but was not intoxicated when she decided to rest on Reyes' bed and expressed being tired from work.

She awoke to allegedly find that Reyes had taken off her clothing and was performing a sex act on her.

According to the complaint, Reyes admitted that he knew the woman was asleep when he had sex with her, and that the acts were not consensual. Reyes said he and other guests took part in drinking games.

Thayer said the arrest of a sitting editor at the school newspaper was unprecedented, and that while Reyes hasn't officially been charged with a crime, all options are on the table. Reyes is being held on $10,000 bond in the Doña Ana County Detention Center.

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