NM Supreme Court orders arrest records expunged

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has unanimously ordered arrest records expunged for 32 people held in contempt by a state judge in November.

The justices held a hearing on the case of state District Judge Sam Sanchez, who ordered the mass jailing of court spectators after denying a request to reconsider a convicted rapist’s prison sentence.

The judge of 11 years has apologized but says he had to control people in the gallery who he said were “yelling and screaming” at him and the rape victim after the hearing Nov. 19.

He says he was thinking about the victim’s safety.

The spectators spent a night behind bars before the high court granted an emergency writ to release them. Sanchez dismissed the charges Nov. 23.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com