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Six sentenced in
attack on gay men in Santa Fe

Six sentenced in
attack on gay men in Santa Fe


A judge told Gabriel Maturin and Isaiah Medina (pictured), the two men deemed most responsible for last year's beatings of two gay men in Santa Fe, N.M., that "you need to see the inside of the penitentiary."

A judge told the two men deemed most responsible for last year's beatings of two gay men in Santa Fe, N.M., that "you need to see the inside of the penitentiary." Gabriel Maturin, 21, and Isaia Medina, 20, will undergo 60-day psychological examinations at the state prison in Los Lunas and then will appear before state district judge Michael Vigil for final sentencing. "The viciousness of this attack warrants you going to the penitentiary to see where you will live your life if this type of activity continues," Vigil told them Wednesday, to the gasps of their families. James Maestas, 22, and Joshua Stockham, 24, were beaten February 27, 2005, in the parking lot of a Santa Fe motel. Maestas spent eight days in a coma; Stockham received minor injuries. Maestas told Vigil he had to relearn how to walk and talk and do everyday things such as dress himself. "I will never, ever forget this," he said. "Having someone hate your lifestyle so much that they would physically beat you is hard to accept." Stockham told the defendants, "I will forgive you, but I won't forget." Medina and Maturin pleaded guilty last September to charges of conspiracy and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. The charges included hate-crime enhancements. Four other people charged in the beatings also were sentenced Wednesday under a 2003 state hate-crimes law. Prosecutor Shari Weinstein, who helped write the law, said it was designed for such cases. Joseph Cano, 19; Jonathan Valdez, 21; and Paul Montoya, 20, each were sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 500 hours of community service, including speaking to high school and college students about what they had done. Cano, who was accused of driving the others to the motel, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with great bodily harm, with a hate-crimes enhancement. Valdez and Montoya were slated to go on trial April 25 but accepted plea bargains instead on the same charge, Weinstein said. Vigil ordered David Trinidad, who was 17 when the attack occurred, to participate in an intensive treatment program in Las Vegas, N.M., for sexual offenders and then go on probation for five years. Trinidad pleaded guilty in August to aggravated battery, battery, conspiracy, and criminal damage to property. At the time of the beatings, he was on probation for raping a 4 1/2-year-old boy, prosecutors said. Trinidad, a waiter who served Maestas and Stockham at a restaurant earlier that evening, knew where they were going and directed his friends there, police have said. Maestas said after the hearing that he was fine with the sentences for Trinidad, Cano, Valdez, and Montoya. As for Maturin and Medina, he said, "When Gabe and Isaia got up and looked at me and said they were sorry--you can say 'sorry' as many times as you want, but it doesn't change anything. What happened that night--10 more minutes, and I would have been dead." (AP)

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