PNT Staff Report
A teenage Portales athlete has been released from jail and is under house arrest pending charges of first-degree criminal sexual penetration, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler.
Daniel Aranda, 18, a Portales High School senior, was arrested on Feb. 28. A Roosevelt County Detention Center official said Aranda was released to house arrest last week.
A call was placed to Aranda’s attorney, James Klipstine of Hobbs, but it was not returned.
Chandler said Aranda was released to the custody of his mother, Ortencia Aranda.
“The only thing we (family) can say is that he’s innocent,” said Ortencia in a March 7 PNT article. “He’s a good kid.”
Since that time, Ortencia has told the PNT she could not comment any further per Klipstine’s request.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said the incident happened in January when Aranda was 17 and the alleged victim was 12. Since the incident, Aranda has turned 18.
Chandler said a decision has not been made whether Aranda will be tried as an adult or as a minor.
Chandler said Aranda, a starter on the Portales High School basketball team that advanced to the state tournament this season, faces a maximum punishment of 18 years in prison if tried as an adult. If Aranda is convicted as a juvenile, he would be sent to the New Mexico Boys’ School until he is 21, Chandler said.