The man was sentenced Monday afternoon in Aztec District Court


AZTEC — A Farmington man has been sentenced to 51 years in state prison on convictions for 22 felony sex crimes for molesting a 10-year-old boy.

Harold Atencio, 55, was sentenced Monday afternoon by Chief District Judge Karen Townsend in Aztec District Court.

He was convicted of a first-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration along with 21 second-degree felony counts of criminal sexual contact during a one-day jury trial on April 10.

Atencio was convicted of molesting the 10-year-old boy and performing oral sex on the victim.

The victim told his father Atencio had touched him in the "private parts," according to court documents.

Atencio confessed during an interview at the San Juan County Sheriff's Office on March 20, 2018, that he inappropriately touched the boy about 25 to 30 times, according to The Daily Times archives.

Townsend sentenced Atencio to 33 years on the criminal sexual contact convictions and the mandatory 18-years the first-degree conviction carries.

He was sentenced to serve the three-year mandatory sentence on 11 of the criminal sexual contact convictions consecutively while the remaining 10 convictions will be served concurrently.

Atencio is required to register as a sex offender and will have more than five years but less than 20 years of probation if he is released from prison.

He will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is considered for parole.

During the sentencing hearing, the prosecution requested Atencio receive the maximum sentence of 333 years in prison without an option for parole.

The victim's mother and grandmother each gave a statement during the hearing. Both of them requested the maximum sentence also for Atencio.

The grandmother told the court Atencio had taken the victim's innocence.

Ruth Wheeler, Atencio's attorney, requested that her client serve the sentences concurrently for the 21 criminal sexual contact convictions.

Atencio and his relatives also spoke during the hearing.

A sister of Atencio's stated he was a very good man and that the mother of the victim should be held accountable for the crimes.

A daughter of Atencio's told the court he was an amazing person who raised three kids by himself and said her father is one of her heroes.  

Atencio spoke about how he worked for San Juan County and had worked in area schools and how he raised his children by himself after his wife died at a young age.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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