Shackled and wearing black and white striped inmate clothing, a convicted sex offender was ordered to be released from incarceration last week after serving 631 days in jail.
During sentencing on Thursday, May 14, Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker reluctantly ordered that Andrew Allmon, 57, of Cortez, be freed from the Montezuma County jail. Walker said he wished that the convicted sex offender could have been incarcerated for the rest of his life.
Despite the court’s desire, Walker was legally bound to release Allmon because of a March 10 plea agreement. Charged in a six-count indictment, Allmon pleaded guilty to felony attempted child sex assault and misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact charges in the middle of a second trial.
Stating that he didn’t like the plea agreement, Walker said he could either accept it or force the victim to face a third trial. He said it would be best for the community to reject the plea, but not for the victim.
“I have to balance those two things out,” said Walker.
Ultimately honoring the victim’s request for closure, Walker accepted the plea, placing Allmon on three years of sexually intense supervised probation and credited with time served. He also granted a prosecution request for Allmon to register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life.
“The court finds that Mr. Allmon is a sexually violent predator,” said Walker.
If Allmon violates terms of his probation, Walker said, Allmon wouldn’t be entitled to receive credit for the 631 days he served.
According to a probation report, officials recommended that Allmon be placed under lifetime supervision. But public defender Amy R. Smith successfully argued that the plea deal, which was vetted by prosecutors and the victim, required only three years of probation and that her client be immediately released at sentencing.
“Mr. Allmon also has an equal hope for closure,” Smith told the court.
District Attorney Will Furse unsuccessfully argued for the court to impose an additional 90 days in jail, saying the suspect’s “deviant sexual desires” were disgusting. Furse admitted that the plea deal, though difficult to stomach, was an appropriate avenue to ensuring justice and providing closure for the victim.
“This plea vindicates the victim and her family,” said Furse.
Furse said the plea deal was necessary because legal obstacles prevented a conviction. He specifically cited a lack of forensics evidence, stating the case was solely dependent upon eyewitness testimony from the young alleged victim and her sister.
Allmon opted not to speak at sentencing. He also didn’t testify at either the first or second trial, held in January and March, respectively. The first trial ended in a hung jury.
In closing statement to jurors on Jan. 15, Furse said the defendant sexually abused the alleged victim “not once, not twice, but three times.” Smith countered in her closing statements that the parents of the alleged victim instructed the child to fabricate the allegations against her client.
The March plea deal resulted after Walker threatened to declare a mistrial. During testimony from the alleged victim’s mother, Smith argued for the case to be tossed after the prosecution’s witness repeatedly provided inflammatory, prejudicial opinions from the witness box.
Court records reveal that Allmon allegedly committed child sexual assault offenses within six weeks of inviting the victim’s family, who had fallen on tough economic times, to move into his Cortez home. Allmon allegedly abused the youngest of three daughters, an 8-year-old, in June 2013.
The alleged victim reportedly told authorities during a forensics interview that Allmon not only touched her, but forced her to touch him. The mother testified at trial that Allmon was like a grandfather to the children.
Allmon previously was convicted in 2008 on charges of false imprisonment and sexual assault of a minor in San Juan County, N.M.