LAS CRUCES, N.M. – This morning, a man charged with raping a 50-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis pleaded guilty to the 2015 sexual assault at the Good Samaritan Society, a senior living center in Las Cruces.
Before his second day at trial, Peter Lucero, 26, took responsibility for his actions and ended the trial, which was scheduled for three days, by pleading guilty to criminal sexual penetration, a second-degree felony and false imprisonment, a fourth-degree felony.
Prosecutors said the victim was wary about having to testify because of her disability and the sexually graphic nature of her needed testimony. However, because the defendant pleaded guilty, prosecutors were able to spare the victim from testifying.
“This woman was the most vulnerable of victims,” said D’Antonio. “She suffered unimaginable pain because of what the defendant did to her and today’s conviction makes sure he will be punished for his crimes.”
The victim’s son said, “My mother and I are very pleased with the guilty plea. We are both thankful to everyone at the district attorney’s office including District Attorney Mark D’Antonio as well as Cynthia Clark and Rebecca Duffin.”
D’Antonio added, “This was a community prosecution where the DA’s office worked hand-in-hand with the Las Cruces Police Department and Good Samaritan Society to make sure that justice was served.”
The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years and six months in prison. He’ll also have to register as a sex offender for life. D’Antonio said he plans on asking for the maximum sentence possible.
Public Information Officer | Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office | Mark D’Antonio
Office: 575.524.6370 ext. 1144 | Cell: 575.915.5954 | firstname.lastname@example.org
845 N. Motel Blvd., 2nd Floor, Ste. D | Las Cruces, NM 88007 | www.donaanacountyda.com