Mother of victim happy with 133-year sentence

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

The mother of a Tucumcari rape victim said she is pleased with the 133-year prison sentence her daughter’s attacker received on Wednesday.

“It has helped my family a great deal and will help other families of the future,” she said.

Torrance County District Judge Kevin Sweazea sentenced Kenneth Leon Mills, 30, for the 2008 rape of the 9-year-old Quay County girl.

New Mexico’s sex offender registry reports Mills was also convicted of criminal sexual penetration in 1998 in Curry County. He registered as a sex offender in September 2003.

Prosecutor Andrea Reeb said she was not surprised by the latest conviction and sentence.

“The state had strong DNA evidence against the defendant,” she said.

“The judge gave the maximum sentence possible using the enhancements from Mills’ previous felony convictions.”

The latest charges stemmed from Aug. 26, 2008, when Mills entered a home in Quay County at 3 a.m. and forced the girl out of her bed. He carried her to the alley behind her house, where he sexually assaulted her, according to court records.

Mills will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Quay County jurors convicted Mills of the following:

• three counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13,

• criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree,

• aggravated burglary,

• first degree kidnapping,

• and intimidation of a witness.

Reeb and Matthew Chandler, of the 9th Judicial District in Clovis-Portales, were appointed special prosecutors for the Quay County case.