Leaked stripper video leads to extortion charges in New Mexico

In what has been dubbed “Lapdance-gate” by local New Mexico media, Sunland Parks’ mayor pro-tem and city manager entered not-guilty pleas for extortion charges. District Attorney Amy Orlando alleges that City Manager Daniel Salinas and Mayor Pro Tem Jaime Aguilera attempted to blackmail mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez into withdrawing from the race with a recording of Hernandez receiving a lapdance in his campaign office. (Source) After Hernandez says he refused, the video was leaked to the media.

New Mexico district court judge Lisa Schultz denied a reduction in both defendants’ bail. The district attorney said she felt the risk of flight for the defendants was large.

It’s not the fact that the video was leaked to the media that makes this a criminal case. The issue this hinges on is whether Salinas and Aguilera did, in fact, attempt to extort Hernandez by threatening to release the video if he did not comply and renounce his candidacy.

Aguilera had previously pled no contest to facilitating a bribe while serving as a public official in California five years ago. Community members have apparently also stepped forward with additional allegations, which have not been specified.

4 Responses to Leaked stripper video leads to extortion charges in New Mexico

  1. Jake-413451 says:

    Reading it I am struck with a question.

    Two people are running for nomination from the moral majority. They are personal friends and have been focused on issues. Candidate Smity gets hold of a similar video.

    Smity doesn’t want to damage his friend, he knows people will make mistakes, sincerely believes a if it is a private person this should not be made public knowledge, but elected leaders are supposed to be better and subject to somewhat less privacy in such matters since they are in his parties opinion representative and held to a higher standard.

    Is there any legal way for Smity to tell his opponent he likes him, doesn’t want to hurt him, but if he remains running for office he must release the video and not have it be extortion since the implication is still quit or else I’ll release?

    Would it matter if instead it was a matter of owing back taxes which they was trying to make good on but wouldn’t for some time still and “the people” were not going to take kindly to it?

    Does the extortion law mean candidates must publicly expose one another rather than allow them some sense of privacy?

  2. A Pimp Named Slickback says:

    Jake:

    In your example, I don’t think the constraints on Smity are legal, but rather his own morals. You say that Smity doesn’t want to damage his friend; you also say that he knows people make mistakes. But the whole purpose of him weighing whether or not to bring up the topic with his opponent is to get him to quit the race. It is extortion, plain and simple.

    Smity is taking evidence of a purely legal act between presumably consenting adults, and telling his opponent in one way or another that if he doesn’t quit the race, this potentially damaging — yet legal — fact will be revealed to the public. Moreover, if the opponent does quit the race, then Smity feels he has no reason to release the video.

    If Smity is actually friends with his opponent and does not want to damage him, the thought of using the video to affect his opponent’s candidacy — especially in such a way that would benefit Smity — would never have crossed Smity’s mind. Thus, Smity’s intent is to extort his opponent, even if he doesn’t feel good about it, or like to call it that.

    That does not mean, however, that Smity cannot remove himself from the equation and still get the same result. This is what political parties exist for: to build consensus and police its members to ensure solidarity in promoting the party’s message. If Smity’s concern is not based on his personal interests, but rather on some ethos held by his and his opponent’s party, then the party is the proper entity to handle the issue.

    Smity can explain the situation to his party’s chairperson and give the evidence to him/her. If the party has a problem with it, they will inform the opponent that in light of this evidence, he cannot continue his candidacy under their banner. That would not be extortion, because they are not threatening to reveal anything and they are not demanding that he quit the race. Instead, they are only informing him that if he continues, he will not have the support of his party, which they have every right to withhold for whatever reason.

    If, on the other hand, the party has no issue with the video and doesn’t want to take action, then Smity can take that as evidence of two things: 1) his party has more faith in his opponent’s candidacy, even in light of the new evidence, and 2) Smity is an opportunistic dickhole who doesn’t really understand the concept of friendship.

  3. Attila says:

    Wheres the video? :-P

  4. Deb Toomey says:

    There are numerous mistakes in your post. Salinas to the mayor pro tem. Aguilera is the City Manager.

    Aguilera was not serving as a public official 5 years ago in California. Aguilera was City Manager of Truth or Consequences, NM, from 2005-2010. Still trying to get the authorities to act on the numerous illegal actions by Aguilera in Sierra County, but we didn’t know we needed a stripper to get DA Clint Wellborn to act.

    Aguilera plead guilty to bribery while a Community Development Director of Cathedral City, CA, on bribery in 2002, 10 years ago.

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