Jonathan Holder

John Holder

A Duncan man accused of molesting and raping a 13-year-old girl in March 2020 was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison and two terms of life-time probation in Greenlee County Superior Court Tuesday, Oct. 12.

According to a Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office report, the Silver City (N.M.) Police Department contacted deputies in March 2020 to report a possible sexual assault had taken place in a travel trailer in the Duncan area.

During a subsequent and lengthy investigation, the alleged victim told detectives she was visiting a relative in Duncan and while the relative was at work, the relative’s boyfriend, John Holder, held her down against her will and sexually assaulted her twice.

Holder, 21, was arrested and charged May 25, 2021.

Holder pleaded guilty in Greenlee County Superior Court to sexual abuse and two counts of attempted sexual conduct with a minor Sept. 20. Under the terms of the plea agreement, he could have received as little as 2.5 years in prison.

Holder’s attorney, Channen Day, submitted a sentencing memorandum to Judge Monica Stauffer asking for the minimum sentence.

In the memo, Day told the judge that while it was inappropriate for the then 19-year-old Holder to have sex with a girl six years his junior, he did not forcibly sexual assault her.

The girl initiated the encounter and verbally consented to have sex, the defense attorney wrote in the memorandum.

Day also cited as mitigating factors: the support of his family, members of his community, his work history and contributions to his community through coaching and volunteering at his church. He also cited his “good character,” remorse and acceptance of responsibility.

The probation officer who wrote a pre-sentence report for the judge recommended the maximum sentence of 7.5 years.

In part, the officer wrote, “This was not a man with a limited intelligence and maturity level not knowing what he was doing was wrong. This was violence for self-gratification. In this writer’s opinion, what Mr. Holder did was monstrous.”

The officer disputed Holder’s acceptance of responsibility and said Holder violated the trust placed in him when the relative left the girl alone with him.

In addition, the officer told the judge that according to the girl’s family she suffers from depression and post traumatic stress syndrome as a result of the incident and has since lost her father to COVID-19 and is in counseling.

Load comments