By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers
Editor’s note: The Clovis News-Journal does not routinely name victims of sexual assault. In this case, the victim has agreed to be publicly identified.
A former Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for having sex with a female inmate.
Gary Adkins, 47, was convicted in February of criminal sexual penetration.
Adkins will be on parole for at least five years after he is released and must register as a sex offender, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said.
Officials said on July 1, 2005, Adkins took Ashley LeMier, 24, of Portales from the detention center wearing jail clothes and in handcuffs. Adkins drove to a rural county road where he kissed her and performed sexual acts, according to Chandler.
Prosecutors said he then bought her a pack of cigarettes, a lighter and a pack of gum from a convenience store before returning her to jail.
She reported the incident to another deputy sheriff. Adkins was arrested about a week later.
“What he did has affected me a lot,” LeMier told the court Thursday. “I would like to see punishment for it.”
LeMier was serving time for parole violation at the time of the arrest, according to court records.
Chandler said the former deputy’s actions left a black eye on those in law enforcement.
“Law enforcement officers are supposed to use their badge and authority to protect and serve,” Chandler said. “The court sent a strong message today that nobody is above the law, regardless of one’s profession.”
Adkins’ family and friends argued the sex was consensual and asked for leniency.
“This is not a case of consensual and nonconsensual sex,” Judge Ted Hartley said. “It’s an absolute violation of the law. We cannot allow this to happen as a society. I don’t care who enticed who. I don’t care who started it.”
Adkins has served five months in jail and received credit for time served, which means he has a little more than 4 1/2 years remaining.
“I’d like to apologize to my family, friends, law enforcement and the Sheriff’s Department,” Adkins said Thursday. “I’m truly sorry. I’ve been in jail for the last five months. It’s been an eternity for me. The consequences I have suffered because of my actions are unimaginable. I’m not perfect. I’m human.”