Defense to consider appeal after Gregor sentencing
Gary Gregor’s lawyer said Thursday he’ll wait until after the former Española and Santa Fe schoolteacher is sentenced before deciding whether to appeal his client’s felony convictions on child molestation charges.
A District Court jury on Wednesday found Gregor guilty of molesting two fourth-grade students at Española’s Fairview Elementary School during the 2007-08 school year.
Gregor is scheduled to appear before Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer for sentencing in January, at which time he could face 168 years of prison time. His lawyer, Shelby Bradley, said no decision on appealing the conviction will be made before then.
Gregor still has three cases pending against him — two involving allegations he molested Santa Fe students during the 2003-04 school year and one related to allegations that he molested a Rio Arriba County girl during the 2006-07 school year.
State prosecutors offered Gregor two plea deals in 2017, including one that had exposed him to a maximum 51-year sentence. Gregor rejected both. Asked if the remaining cases might be resolved by plea deal, Bradley said the conviction might cause the parties to view Gregor’s pending cases with “new eyes.”
But Attorney General’s Office spokesman David Carl said prosecutors are preparing to bring Gregor to trial on all the pending cases. He said the two cases involving Santa Fe county accusers will be heard in one trial.
Gregor was accused of misconduct in Utah and Montana before he began teaching in New Mexico. In 2004, docents at a Santa Fe museum raised concerns with school officials about Gregor’s behavior with students on a field trip.
Following the complaint, Gregor resigned without a formal hearing, and Santa Fe school officials did not report him to police; instead, they agreed to give him a neutral recommendation. He later was hired by the Española district.
Parents of one of Gregor’s students reported concerns about him to Española police in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the Attorney General’s Office filed criminal charges against Gregor.
Carl said in an email last month that Attorney General Hector Balderas has “pushed for legislation that expands the mandatory reporting of child abuse and intends to ask legislators to revisit this legislation in 2019.”
Española Public Schools has paid more than $9 million to settle lawsuits filed by women who accused Gregor of sexually assaulting them when they were children.