Portales man pleads guilty to sex charges

CMI staff

A Portales man has pleaded guilty to sex charges related to a 2011 sting operation by the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomas Morgan, 27, faces up to three years in jail for charges of soliciting a child using an electronic device for the purposes of engaging in a sexual act — a third-degree felony.

According to a release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office, Morgan began talking online to personnel from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, who were impersonating a 15-year-old girl. After talking via email and text messages, Morgan agreed to meet the girl Oct. 8, 2011 for a sexual encounter. He was taken into custody at the North Plains Mall, where he set up the meeting.

Jennifer Burrill, who served as defense attorney for Morgan, said a conditional appeal is planned. Burrill said the only matter to be contested is required registration as a sex offender. Though that is current law, Burrill said, it became law nearly two years after Morgan was charged.

“We have a constitutional issue,” Burrill said, “in that they changed the rules in the middle of the game.”

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