By Kevin Wilson
A Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested Monday following accusations he took a prisoner out of the Roosevelt County Detention Center and had sex with her.
Gary Adkins faces a second-degree charge of criminal sexual penetration. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said Adkins could face a maximum sentence of nine years in prison. He was released from the RCDC after posting a $20,000 bond Monday afternoon.
Attempts to reach Adkins for comment were unsuccessful.
According to court documents, the woman was incarcerated at the RCDC after she violated her probation related to unknown charges. She was taken out of her jail cell about 6 p.m. on July 1 by Adkins, who also arrested her, records show.
She was taken into a room within the Portales Law Enforcement Complex, where Adkins began to kiss her and tried to remove her pants, court documents allege. Adkins then took her back to the RCDC about 7 p.m., according to court documents.
Approximately an hour later, Adkins removed the prisoner from RCDC for a second time and took her from the complex, according to court documents. The prisoner was taken from the complex to an unknown dirt road off U.S. 70, where Adkins had sex with her in the front passenger seat of a patrol car, court records allege.
While returning to the law-enforcement complex, Adkins took the prisoner to a convenience store and bought her cigarettes, a pack of gum, a lighter and a pen; he checked her back into the RCDC about 9:48 p.m. on July 1, records show.
Peter Olson, communications director for the Department of Public Safety, said the matter was reported to jail officials later that night, and evidence was collected. Court documents said a sexual assault kit was used later that night at an emergency room in Clovis and a fluid consistent with semen was collected.
Roosevelt County Sheriff Tom Gossett said when he learned of the allegations against Adkins, he placed the deputy on administrative leave and requested assistance from the New Mexico State Police.
“We do not do our own internal investigation for a simple reason that it’s not a good policy,” Gossett said. “In most cases, you have to have a substantial (amount of staff to have your own internal affairs).”
Gossett declined to comment on the investigation.
State police were contacted on July 2, Olson said.
A search warrant was executed on the patrol car the deputy was driving, and three pornographic DVDs were discovered under the seat, according to court documents.
Olson said that while the alleged sex may have been consensual, Adkins faces the criminal charge because his position as a deputy is viewed as a position of authority over the prisoner.
Chandler said all motions and hearings would be handled through the Curry County office of the district in order to eliminate any perception of impropriety.
“Mr. Adkins’ case will be handled as any other case (would be),” Chandler said. “Anyone in a position of authority like that … by no means has the right to abuse his powers or his badge.”