PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – A 53-year-old man from Portales will spend more than six decades in prison after a jury found him guilty of nine counts of causing or permitting a child (age 13-18) to engage in sexual exploitation.
In 2020, law enforcement began investigating Anthony West. He reportedly had hundreds of explicit photos and videos of West engaging in sex acts with a child as young as sixteen.
The Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office called it a case of ‘grooming’ – a process by which offenders and sexual predators gradually pull victims into abuse. The district attorney’s office says a victim was in contact with West from when the victim was 13 to when the victim was over 18.
West said during Monday’s sentencing hearing that he had “not done anything that was harmful” to the victim. However, the judge had a different take. Judge Donna J. Mowrer called West a “complete wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Now, West not only has to serve his prison sentence, but will also have to register as a sex offender. He is not allowed to have any contact with any child under the age of 16, according the the district attorney’s office.