A former Los Lunas High School coach was convicted on a child pornography charge earlier today.
The announcement of the conviction of Johnathon Bindues, 31, of Los Lunas, was made on Friday, May 5. A federal jury returned a guilty verdict against Bindues after less than three hours of deliberation.
The jury convicted Bindues, a former contract coach for Los Lunas Schools, on one count each of coercion and enticement of a minor and production of child pornography.
Bindues was an assistant and head coach for the girls track and field team, as well as an assistant coach for the girls basketball team.
A federal grand jury indicted Bindues on March 23, 2022, on one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and eight counts of production of child pornography.
In mid July of 2021, Bindues was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, third-degree felonies; three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, fourth-degree felonies; as well as four counts of criminal sexual penetration and four counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, all second-degree felonies.
The arrest came after a woman discovered her then 15-year-old daughter was having sexually explicit conversations with Bindues via text message, as well as sending pictures and videos. From September 2020 to June 2021, Bindues exchanged more than 17,000 text messages with the girl. She disclosed to investigators she had sex with Bindues on three separate occasions at Los Lunas High School and his home.
In September of 2021, the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s office dismissed the state charges against Bindues while waiting for the completion of the investigation by New Mexico State Police. The 14 counts of sexual crimes against a minor were dismissed without prejudice, meaning criminal charges could be re-filed. According to online court records, state charges have not been re-filed against Bindues.
Bindues faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for coercion and enticement, and a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison for production of child pornography. Upon his release from prison, Bindues would be subject to registration as a sex offender.
“The exploitation of children requires decisive action. Those who seek to prey on children will stop at nothing to lull their victims into a false sense of trust and security,” said Amy Kaskel, FBI acting special agent in charge. “Thanks to the close collaboration with our partners at the New Mexico State Police, we were able to put a stop to the defendant’s activities. This man, who was entrusted to mentor young people, was in actuality a predator of vulnerable girls. Today’s conviction is one step closer to ensuring he won’t be able to victimize children for years to come.”
“Our children deserve schools and sports free from sexual predation,” said U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez. “I stand in awe of Jane Doe’s bravery, fortitude and resilience. Her strength in facing her abuser and sharing her story is nothing short of heroic. Parents, teachers and all members of our community must remain vigilant to protect our children from those who abuse their positions of authority.”
United States District Judge James O. Browning presided over the case
The FBI and New Mexico State Police investigated this case, and Assistant United States Attorneys Jaymie L. Roybal and Patrick E. Cordova are prosecuting the case.
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