Rio Grande Sun [Española NM]
March 3, 2023
By Kevin Deutsch
A former Holy Cross Catholic School teacher charged with multiple child sex crimes for allegedly abusing a 13-year-old student was released from jail on March 3 and placed on GPS ankle monitoring, court records show.
First Judicial District Court Judge T. Glen Ellington ordered the release of Calvin Robinson, 41, of Española into a pretrial services monitoring program, the records show. Robinson, arrested Feb. 14, is charged with criminal sexual penetration of a child at least 13 years of age, enticement of a child and multiple counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor at the Santa Cruz school, according to records filed by New Mexico State Police.
Ellington’s decision came after prosecutors with the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed a motion for pretrial detention intended to keep Robinson jailed at the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility, where he’d been held without bail until March 3, according to the court filings and jail records.
Prosecutors warned Robinson could be a danger to other children if released.
“[Robinson] has demonstrated by his conduct with [the girl] that he has a single minded determination when he has selected a young victim, strongly suggesting that any child within [his] orbit is in danger,” Assistant District Attorney Shelby Bradley wrote in the Feb. 17 motion requesting a hearing aimed at keeping Robinson jailed.
Minutes from that March 2 detention hearing in Santa Fe were not immediately available, but Ellington signed an order that day releasing Robinson from jail on the condition he comply with a number of restrictions. The restrictions include staying away from the victim and her family, and remaining in the state of New Mexico unless given permission to travel. Robinson is also barred from entering certain “exclusion zones” around schools, records show.
Robinson’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
The victim, who attended the elementary school from Aug. 2021 until May 2022, came forward in January to report the crimes. The sexual abuse claims were corroborated by other students at the school, prosecutors said.
Robinson is no longer employed at the school, according to a letter school administrators sent to parents Feb. 23, nine days after Robinson’s arrest.
The letter, which did not name Robinson or the charges against him, said a teacher was removed from campus immediately after the school learned of the “initial allegations” in the case. Administrators did not provide any additional information to parents, but encouraged anyone with knowledge of child sex crimes to report them to authorities.
Superintendent Donna Illerbrun has not returned a message left by the SUN on Feb. 28 seeking comment and additional information about Robinson’s alleged crimes at the school.
The campus of Holy Cross Catholic School, opened in 1949, consists of the historic Santa Cruz de la Cañada Church, three elementary school buildings, a cafeteria, a gymnasium and three separate playgrounds.
The school’s website says they serve are around 70 students in per-kindergarten through sixth grade and have 16 staff members.
The teen victim in the case told investigators sexual abuse began “after Calvin asked [her] if she could keep a secret,” police wrote in court records.
“[She] recalled Calvin sticking out his tongue at her and telling her he could do a lot of things with his tongue,” according to the warrant.
Robinson passed the victim notes in class asking whether she’d had any sexual experiences, the records allege. He later touched her in the school gym basement while she was retrieving books, touched her bottom when she stood at the back of lines and touched her breasts both under and over her clothes, police said.
During one incident, Robinson forced the child to kiss him in a classroom closet and touched her breasts, she told police. He sometimes put his hands under her clothes two or three times a day, police said.
When the victim asked Robinson to stop touching her, he said: “You know you like it,” the warrant states.
In another incident, the victim was seated next to Robinson’s desk when the teacher unzipped her pants and placed his hands inside, records allege. The child tried to push Robinson’s hands away several times, police said. When she wouldn’t unzip her pants, Robinson unzipped them, police said.
Another time, in the school’s gym stage area, Robinson took the victim behind a curtain, put a hand inside her underwear and rubbed her privates, an act that legally constituted penetration, police said.