Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Tucumcari man pleads guilty to sex charges

 

March 21, 2018

Thomas Garcia

Anthony Groomas, right, enters four guilty pleas before 10th Judicial District Judge Albert J. Mitchell.

TUCUMCARI - A Tucumcari man faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to charges of criminal sexual penetration involving two minors.

Anthony Groomas, 29, appeared before District Judge Albert J. Mitchell to enter four guilty pleas to felony charges stemming from his arrest last August.

Mitchell accepted the guilty plea and ordered Groomas sent to the state's Department of Corrections for a 60-day pre-sentencing evaluation.

"Protecting New Mexico's children from sexual predators is our highest priority," said Attorney General Hector Balderas in a news release. "Whether you live in cities like Albuquerque or Las Cruces, or more rural areas like Quay County, parents must watch for signs of sexual predators soliciting their children and report it to authorities immediately."

Groomas' attorney Brett Phelps was not available for comment.

Following an investigation by the AG's office, Groomas was arrested on Feb. 3 at his residence in Tucumcari and charged with 23 felony counts connected to alleged criminal sexual penetration and criminal exploitation of girls ranging in age from 14 to 17.

Groomas was booked into the Quay County Detention Center on a $15,000 cash only bond, where he remains today.

James Hallinan, a spokesman for the attorney general, said the crimes occurred between May 2015 and February, with tips coming from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Hallinan said through the course of the investigation social media conversations between Groomas and minors were reviewed, and interviews with those minors were conducted.

 
 

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