Man could face up to six years in prison

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington man has plead guilty as part of a plea agreement to groping a young female relative he forced to drink alcohol.

Allen Peace, 36, pleaded guilty on Aug. 14 to one third-degree felony count of criminal sexual contact of a minor during a hearing in Aztec District Court, according to the plea agreement.

Peace was convicted of groping the breast of a young female relative under her bra after the victim stated he forced her to consume alcohol, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Adam Bell, Peace's attorney, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The victim told a Farmington Police Department detective about the incident during an interview at Childhaven on May 29, 2017.

The brother of the victim spoke to a family friend about the alleged incident, who reported it to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office referred the case to Farmington police.

The criminal complaint lists a second charge of criminal sexual contact and a count of criminal sexual penetration in the second degree. Those two charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Dustin O'Brien, San Juan County chief deputy district attorney, told The Daily Times the second criminal sexual contact charge was an error.

He stated the victim was concerned about the difficulty of going through the trial and when given the alternative of a plea offer being extended to the suspect, she preferred prosecutors pursue that route.

The plea agreement does not list an agreement for sentencing between the defense and prosecution.

Peace could face upward of six years in prison along with parole from five years to life. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life following the conviction.

The family of the victim wants prison time in the case, according to O'Brien.

A sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 3 in Aztec District Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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