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Attorney: City settles with UNM student kneed in groin

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The city of Albuquerque has settled a lawsuit for $245,000 that was brought by a University of New Mexico law student who had a testicle surgically removed after being kneed in the groin by a police officer.

Jeremy Martin, the law student, filed the lawsuit in connection with an April 2014 traffic stop. The case recently settled, Martin’s attorney confirmed Wednesday.

Former officer Pablo Padilla stopped Martin on suspicion of drunken driving near UNM. After Martin refused to obey Padilla’s commands to sit on the curb, Padilla kneed Martin in the groin. The officer also snatched a cellphone from one of Martin’s passengers, who recorded the incident, and deleted the footage, according to footage from Padilla’s on-body camera.

Martin’s testicle was removed the next day. The drunken driving case was dismissed.

“Jeremy is satisfied with the resolution,” Sam Bregman, Martin’s attorney, said Wednesday. “He obviously would have preferred that this never happened.”

Padilla was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and tampering with evidence. He is scheduled to stand trial in June.

Padilla’s attorney in the case, Erlinda Johnson, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. She had previously referred to the incident as an “unfortunate accident” and said Padilla had no intent to strike Martin in the groin.

“Ninety-nine point nine nine percent of officers do a great job of protecting our community, but every now and again there is a bad apple out there. And Mr. Padilla is obviously a bad apple,” Bregman said. “He should be held accountable for the crimes he committed.”

The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy board revoked Padilla’s law enforcement certification in connection with the incident and the criminal charges he is facing. Padilla has filed a lawsuit aimed at getting his certification back.

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