Trailer park owner sued for hiring sex offender

Steve Garrison
The front entrance of the Charro Mobile Home Park is seen Thursday in Bloomfield.

FARMINGTON — The former manager of the Charro Mobile Home Park in Bloomfield is suing the park's owners claiming they were negligent in hiring a convicted sex offender as a maintenance man.

Jamie Pierce alleges in the lawsuit that park owners John and Karen Martin failed to warn residents that William "Billy" Carter — the former maintenance man for the mobile home park — was convicted in October 2005 of sexually assaulting a child.

Pierce said Carter performed maintenance between March 28, 2014, and April 12, 2014, at the trailer park at 324 W. Blanco Blvd. in Bloomfield, according to the lawsuit.

During that period, Pierce alleges Carter sexually abused her 12-year-old daughter "at least 10 times." Carter was arrested April 18, 2014, by Bloomfield police on allegations he molested seven children, including Pierce's daughter, at the park.

Carter, 56, was alleged to have provided Pierce's daughter and another underage girl at the trailer park cell phones, candy, pajamas and a teddy bear. The girls said that Carter would take them on car rides and place them on his lap. Several girls told Bloomfield police that Carter touched their genital areas.

Pierce claims in the lawsuit, filed in district court on Oct. 8, that the Martins were negligent for hiring Carter, and she seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

The Martins have not yet filed a response to Pierce's lawsuit.

The Martins' attorney, Eric Morrow, said Thursday that Pierce had been seeking a settlement from the Martins before filing the lawsuit.

Morrow previously represented Carter as a criminal attorney. He pointed out that Carter — who died Feb. 13 at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center of a chronic respiratory disease — was never convicted of the offenses alleged at the trailer park.

"There is no allegation that Mr. Carter ever did anything that was overt sexual behavior, such as getting his hands under her pants, and truly molesting her," Morrow said.

Carter's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on June 12 alleging the inmate received negligent medical care.

Albuquerque attorney Edward Chavez Jr. is representing Pierce in her lawsuit. He could not be reached for comment.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.