SANTA FE, N.M. — Child rape charges against a woman and her boyfriend were dropped on the first day of their trial because the victim denied any sexual abuse while testifying.
The joined trials for Ezekiel Maestas and Jamie Martinez, both 32, began Tuesday in Tierra Amarilla District Court.
Martinez was accused of holding down an 8-year-old close family relative while Maestas raped the boy in spring 2018. They both faced one count of criminal sexual penetration of a minor under 13, while Maestas also faced one count of possession of a controlled substance.
But Judge Jason Lidyard ordered that Maestas be released from custody immediately, online court records show. Henry Varela, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Fe, said the alleged victim changed his story on the stand.
“The child victim testified and denied sexual abuse and did not disclose any sexual abuse to the jury,” Varela said in an email. “As a result, the Judge issued a directed verdict and the defendants were acquitted of all charges.”
The charges cannot be refiled, Varela said.