Dexter’s former chief of police was convicted Thursday by a Roswell jury of charges of stalking and battery.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb announced Mario R. Contreras, 45, of Dexter, was convicted following a one-day trial, during which the jury heard testimony from victims as well as Dexter Mayor Mitch Daubert and an officer with the New Mexico State Police.
Several women in Dexter came forward last year accusing the chief of stalking them, making crude gestures, and touching them inappropriately, including tickling a woman’s foot at a town council meeting, caressing the hand of a Dexter convenience store worker, and making sexual advances toward a store manager in Dexter.
The NMSP investigated the case and arrested Contreras in December 2015.
After the verdicts were announced at approximately 8 p.m. Thursday, the Honorable E. J. Fouratt, magistrate judge, ordered that Contreras serve 30 days in jail, to be followed by one-and-a-half years of probation. Contreras was also ordered to make a $500 donation to Refuge House and serve 40 hours of community service.
Defense attorney S. Doug Jones Witt advised the court they will file an appeal. Contreras was released on an appeal bond.
“A copy of this conviction will be forwarded to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board, requesting that Contreras’ certification be revoked,” said Reeb. “Contreras has used his position as a police officer to intimidate and harass women, and this should not be tolerated by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board.”