Ex-Teacher Pleads Guilty to 10 Sex Counts

Clara Garcia, Valencia County News-Bulletin (Belen, NM), June 22

A former Belen special education teacher is facing up to 46 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to 10 separate counts of molesting two children.

Michael Jaramillo, 38, of Tomé, stood beside his attorney, Tom Esquibel, Tuesday in a Los Lunas courtroom before District Judge William Sanchez. Jaramillo, who was a teacher at Central Elementary School in Belen, was indicted in September on 17 separate counts in two cases.

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According to Assistant District Attorney Susan McLean, if the case had gone to trial, the state would have presented evidence that one of the victims, a relative of the defendant, had reported that the abuse had gone on for several years.

“The child had spent several weekends a month at the defendant’s home when the abuse began and continued until he was accused by the student,” McLean said. “The child’s father confronted the defendant, who admitted molesting his child.”

Court documents say that the child told police that Jaramillo began the assaults about four years ago. The teenager also told detectives that the defendant told him not to tell anyone about the incidents because “he would get in a lot of trouble.”

McLean also said that the state would have presented testimony that Jaramillo also molested another boy who was a student at Central Elementary. The prosecutor said staff at the Belen school noticed that the former teacher had invited the child to participate in special projects in his classroom before and after school.

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