Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

Attorney General: Supreme Court Ruling Critical Victory for Protecting New Mexico Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2016

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Santa Fe, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Supreme Court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s interpretation of a 2007 law designed to protect children from obscene electronic communications. The law says that an adult can face felony charges for “sending [a] child obscene images of the person’s intimate parts by means of an electronic communication device.” Defendant Robert Tufts was convicted under this law after he recorded nude videos of himself, placed the videos on a cell phone, and gave the phone to a 15- year-old girl, saying there was “a surprise” on the phone for her.

“I am thankful for the Supreme Court’s ruling today as it is a critical victory in protecting New Mexico’s children,” said Attorney General Balderas.

The issue before the Supreme Court was whether Tufts “sent” the videos to the young girl. The Office of the Attorney General argued that because the law was meant to protect children from obscene images, the law applied even when the suspect hand-delivered a device containing the images. The Supreme Court agreed and rejected Tufts’ argument that he did not violate the law because he did not use a network. “The communication,” the Supreme Court wrote, “could not have been more direct.”

Please see attached for a copy of the Supreme Court ruling.

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