CLOVIS -- Michael Vargas, 40, was sentenced to 16 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections.
On June 11, Vargas was found guilty of 24 counts of child abuse, all third degree felonies.
His conviction results from an incident that occurred in 2010. Two small children reported to a social worker at their elementary school that they were being punished by their foster parents with a stun gun or taser. The children, who were in foster care of Michael Vargas, had at least 24 burn marks to their stomachs and arms. It was proven that the abuse occurred over a period of two months.
The State argued that Vargas should spend at least 24 years in prison, one for each scar left on the victims. However, after a lengthy sentencing hearing, Judge Hartley ordered Vargas to serve the next 16 years in prison, and an additional 5 years of supervised probation and parole upon release from prison. The State proved that Vargas committed a serious, violent offense, which means that Vargas must serve at least 85% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
"It is unconscionable that anyone would ever consider using a taser as a means of punishment," said District Attorney Matthew Chandler. "The victims in this case are relieved that all of this is over, and they can now focus on the things kids are supposed to focus on."
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