Ex-Moriarty High School coach jailed after pleading guilty to rape

New Mexico News

A former Moriarty High School football coach is now behind bars after pleading guilty Tuesday to rape and other charges involving female students.

Damien Hyatt took a plea deal where he admitted to three counts of child rape involving two teens — one dating back to 2011.

Hyatt, who’s a graduate from Moriarty High School, was an assistant football coach there.

Torrance County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him in 2016 when several female students came forward saying Hyatt was giving them alcohol in return for sexual favors.

Deputies at the time said Hyatt persuaded three teenage girls to send him naked photos.

Hyatt had been on house arrest waiting for trial next month.

“On count one, criminal solicitation to commit criminal sexual penetration in the fourth degree — a fourth-degree felony — how do you plead?” asked Judge Matthew Reynolds. “Guilty,” said Hyatt.

There is no mandatory minimum sentence in this case, so Hyatt could get probation.

The plea deal says his maximum sentence could be 24 years, but prosecutors will ask for 15 years in prison. No date has been set for the sentencing.

Hyatt will be in custody until then.

Several victims have already asked to speak at his sentencing.

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