LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A 26-year-old male soccer coach was arrested earlier this month after allegedly taking a 16-year-old female high school student to get her nipples pierced in January, police said.
Victor Gutierrez was charged was one count of contributing to the delinquency of minor, a fourth-degree felony, according to the Las Cruces Police Department.
Gutierrez was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on March 3, jail records show. He was released from jail same day after posting a $10,000 cash-only bond.
A criminal complaint suggested that Gutierrez — a club soccer coach and a former boys soccer coach at Mayfield (Las Cruces, N.M.) High School — and the girl had regularly communicated through social media and interacted during soccer practice at the Field of Dreams complex before the alleged incident on Jan. 17.
According to the girl’s statement to police, Gutierrez had picked her up from another local high school on Jan. 17 and took her to a tattoo shop, where she received the piercings. She told police that Gutierrez had paid for the piercings, then took her out to eat pizza before returning to school. She arrived to class late and was marked absent, police said.
The girl’s piercings were later discovered by her mother through the absence, according to the complaint.
After the mother was notified about the absence, she questioned her daughter, police said. She learned that Gutierrez had allegedly taken her daughter to a tattoo shop during the lunch period to get the piercings, police said.
Gutierrez also allegedly asked the girl to send him pictures of the piercings. Police are still trying to determine if the girl sent Gutierrez photos, an LCPD spokesman said.
Under New Mexico law, police said, a parent or legal guardian must be present and provide written consent for minors seeking tattoos or piercings. Police said Gutierrez “facilitated the acts” that enabled her to be pierced without her parents’ consent or knowledge.
On Monday, Gutierrez’s attorney, Jess Lilley of Las Cruces, disputed the allegations in the criminal complaint.
“The complaint filed in magistrate court against Mr. Gutierrez does not accurately or completely describe the incident,” Lilley said in written statement to the Sun-News. “His involvement in this matter did not amount to a crime, and he certainly did not contribute to the delinquency of the young woman.”
Jo Galván, a spokeswoman for the Las Cruces Public Schools, said Gutierrez’s contract with LCPS had expired when the allegations were brought forward.
“Regardless, he will no longer have a contract with LCPS,” Galván said.
She also said LCPS had conducted its own internal investigation when officials became aware of the allegations. It was unclear how long Gutierrez had a coaching contract with LCPS.
Police believe Gutierrez may have taken other underage girls for piercings.