Couple enter guilty pleas in sexual abuse case

Date: 2007-04-11

Couple enter guilty pleas in sexual abuse case

Clara Garcia

A Los Lunas couple pleaded guilty Monday to charges that they repeatedly sexually abused their adopted daughter over a two-year period.

Ellery James, 25, and his 24-year-old wife, Krisi, entered into plea and disposition agreements with the district attorney's office in which they agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the state dropping the majority of charges against them.

Ellery James pleaded guilty to two first-degree counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration by a person in position of authority. Krisi James pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual penetration of a minor one count of criminal sexual penetration by a person in position of authority — a second-degree felony — and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fourth-degree felony.

A Valencia County grand jury indicted the Jameses last summer on 49 counts.

Ellery James, whose trial was scheduled to begin this week, is facing a maximum of 63 years in prison and could be ordered to pay a $30,000 fine. His wife could be sentenced to 28 and one-half years behind bars and a $15,000 fine.

District Judge John Pope said he will sentence the couple after a pre-sentence report has been completed.

The Los Lunas couple was arrested and charged last May when their adopted 14-year-old daughter walked into the Children, Youth and Families Division (CYFD) office in Los Lunas to report she had been sexually abused by her parents. State officials immediately contacted Los Lunas police, who investigated the case.

According to court documents, when Los Lunas Police Officer Dino Wroten went to the CYFD office, the teenager handed him a letter she wrote stating that she had been touched by her adopted father.

"(The girl) told Officer Wroten that she had proof of the incidents," the court document says. "(She) then reached into the bag ... and relinquished several photographs that showed sexual misconduct by both (the man) and his wife."

The court documents say that the photographs also depicted the teenager involved in the sexual activity. The girl told the officers that there were additional photographs in a digital camera at the couple's Los Lunas home.

Later that day, officers executed a search warrant for the couple's apartment and confiscated numerous items including cameras, photographs, computer discs, a computer hard drive, clothing and a video camera.

She told police that the abuse began in the spring or summer of 2004 and continued until two weeks before the girl came forward. The girl has since been taken into protective custody by CYFD.


Pound Pup Legacy