Clovis man sentenced in child abuse case

Clovis man sentenced in child abuse case

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CLOVIS, New Mexico -

(Press release)

Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, announced that on June 12, 2018, Bruce Bender, age 64, of Clovis, was sentenced to one year in jail for child abuse.

Last month a Curry County jury found Bender guilty of child abuse and disorderly conduct.  The charges stemmed from an incident in March of 2017 when Clovis Police officers were called to a restaurant in Clovis, NM, for a report of a child being battered.  Bender reportedly hit a 6 year old child in the head after the child had been sitting on the child's knees at the table after Bender told him not to do so.  Bender, who was dining with the child and a relative, was later located in the parking lot where he became aggressive and refused to comply with the officers.

The Honorable Fred Van Soelen presided over the hearing and sentenced Bender to one year in jail followed by three and one-half years supervised probation.  Bender faced a maximum of four and a half years in prison with a one year enhancement for a prior drug conviction.  Judge Van Soelen stated that he could not suspend the year enhancement since this most recent conviction involved violence; however, Bender could apply for the CCP Program and if eligible may serve his time on the ankle monitor.

Lara Maierhofer, Assistant District Attorney, represented the State and Bender was represented by criminal defense attorney Benjamin Herrmann, of Clovis.

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