Ex-guard in Grants charged with rape - Albuquerque Journal

Ex-guard in Grants charged with rape

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Robert Smith (State Police)

New Mexico State Police says it didn’t take long for a new hire at a women’s prison in Grants to start a sexual relationship with a female inmate – also sneaking in cigarettes, jewelry and treats for the woman and her friends on the inside.

Robert Smith, 37, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration and bringing contraband into a prison in the case. He has been booked into the Cibola County Correctional Facility.

Smith started as a corrections officer at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in November 2021 and resigned in April after an investigation revealed an ongoing relationship with the female inmate.

“The well-being and safety of the inmate population is of upmost priority to the department, and our staff remain dedicated to upholding our mission and building a stronger New Mexico,” Karen Cann, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico Corrections Department, said. Cann said allegations of mistreatment are investigated thoroughly by the department and referred to law enforcement for possible criminal charges.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court:

State Police were called to investigate the matter on May 19 after Smith allegedly told the NMCD’s office of professional standards about the relationship. By that time, an investigation was already underway by the facility.

Smith told police that, within a month of being hired, he became close with a female inmate over numerous conversations. He said he became attracted to the woman, “which evolved into bringing contraband into the facility for her and several of her cellmates.”

Smith told police he brought cigarettes, food, soda, hand sanitizer and earrings to the inmates and had sexual relations with the woman on at least two occasions. He said the incidents happened out of the sight of security cameras.

Smith told police he kept bringing the items after the sexual relations stopped as the inmates requested them to keep quiet. He said he “felt trapped” and needed to “keep himself out of trouble” by bringing in items.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Ex-guard in Grants charged with rape


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Top Workplaces' special award recipients
ABQnews Seeker
Top Workplaces’ special award recipients were ... Top Workplaces’ special award recipients were chosen based on standout scores for employee responses to specific survey statements. Leadership Awards Large employer: Joe Christian, ...
2
Behavioral health group is No. 5 small employer in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Kathleen Karimi, co-founder of ... Q&A with Kathleen Karimi, co-founder of Behavior Change Institute
3
Auto dealership is No. 5 mid-size company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Rob Sneed, managing partner ... Q&A with Rob Sneed, managing partner and general manager of Power Ford
4
Eye care firm is No. 5 large company in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Eye Associates of New ... Q&A with Eye Associates of New Mexico CEO Tony Lenhart and Chief Human Resources Officer Cris Todd
5
School is No. 4 small employer in Top Workplaces ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Rebecca Maestas-Sanchez, principal for ... Q&A with Rebecca Maestas-Sanchez, principal for St. Mary's Catholic School
6
Engineering firm is No. 4 mid-size company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Bohannan Huston Inc. president ... Q&A with Bohannan Huston Inc. president and CEO Bruce Stidworthy and Nancy Simutis, vice president of human resources
7
Telecommunications firm is No. 4 large company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Karen Viola, customer experience ... Q&A with Karen Viola, customer experience center senior director for T-Mobile US
8
Construction firm is No. 3 small company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Paul Farless, president and ... Q&A with Paul Farless, president and CEO of SDV Construction Inc.
9
Oil and gas firm is No. 3 mid-size company ...
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A with Ezra Yacob, CEO of ... Q&A with Ezra Yacob, CEO of EOG Resources ...