SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) - Friday afternoon a jury acquitted the former Valencia County Deputy accused of making a woman strip after he drove up and her and her boyfriend two years ago.
Patrick Durán was accused of extortion and false imprisonment after he allegedly forced a woman to pull down her underwear to get out of a DWI.
This case was tough from the get-go.
There was no physical evidence and only testimony from witnesses.
As the verdict came down in a Socorro courtroom, Durán got emotional, his attorneys consoling him.
But it was a different kind of emotion, anger, outside from the alleged victim's family.
"I hope he burns in hell," his accuser's grandmother said.
That woman's granddaughter said Durán drove up on her and her boyfriend while they were parked on the side of the highway near Veguita.
She said Durán made her go behind his squad car, strip and bend over.
"It was going to be a tough call for anybody, but I think the jury made the right decision on everything," Durán's lawyer Josh Sanchez said.
Sanchez said the couple's accounts of what happened were inconsistent.
The alleged victim waffled on how much she had to drink that night. And when she reported what happened, she was not sure which department the deputy was from and did not catch the logo on his squad car.
The defense also pointed out that the woman could have been describing former Socorro County Deputy Shawn Baca, who forced female drivers to undress to get out of traffic tickets.
Baca was arrested months after Durán and is serving six years.
If Durán had been convicted he could have faced 4 1/2 years behind bars.
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