Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – The man accused of drugging, raping and kidnapping a woman at a Santa Fe hotel three years ago was found guilty of voyeurism and criminal sexual penetration on Friday, but acquitted of kidnapping.
Redwolf Pope, 44, was accused of meeting up with a woman at a house party during the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market and using a date-rape drug to render her unconscious. Pope then raped the woman, recording the act on his iPad.
Pope faces a sentence of up to three years in prison for third-degree criminal penetration, and one year for voyeurism. He also must register as a sex offender.
Pope avoided conviction on the kidnapping charge, which carried a sentence of up to 18 years.
First Judicial District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer did not immediately set a date for sentencing.
Pope’s attorney, Brad Kerwin, said in a statement he plans to appeal the guilty verdicts.
“We are grateful for the jury’s attention. There were multiple issues with this case, and the court even sanctioned prosecutors a couple of times,” he said.
Prosecutors were sanctioned on the first day of the trial for mistakenly including plea negotiation emails in a reply to a defense motion to dismiss the case.
Mary Carmack-Altwies, deputy district attorney for the 1st Judicial District, took some satisfaction with the verdict.
“No one ‘wins’ in this forum, we don’t go home and mark a tally. We do go home and know that our advocacy was not a failure,” she said in a statement. “Through this unbearable process, we convinced a jury that rapists, rape and deception take many forms.”
During closing arguments Thursday afternoon, prosecuting attorney Larissa Breen called on jurors to be diligent and thorough during their deliberations. As she talked, she showed photos of the victim lying unconscious and unclothed on her back. Breen compared the photo with another one of the woman taken earlier that day. She was smiling in a white dress; adorned with silver bracelets and an amethyst ring. The victim testified during the three-day trial that the dress was so difficult to put on, another person had to help her.
“If you look at this photo, and I understand it’s hard, but if you look at this person, they are incapable of removing their clothes,” Breen said. “Without some assistance, how did she get on her back?”
When Pope offered the woman a hotel room during Indian Market and was talking with her throughout the week, he wasn’t being friendly, Breen said, he was grooming her.
Pope also held himself out to be part of the victim’s Native American tribe, Tlingit, which he used as a way to gain her trust, prosecutors said.
In his closing argument, Kerwin repeated that the case against Pope was about greed, revenge and regret. He said the people involved in the case were upset about the closure of the ZoHi Gallery and wanted Pope’s money. Kerwin argued that police and prosecutors didn’t do their due diligence investigating the case.
Pope also faces two rape charges in Seattle. Details from that case were not permitted during this trial.