Only on ABC-7: Las Cruces man sentenced to 5 years probation in child abuse case

Plea deal allows convicted child abuser to be set free

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - On Tuesday a 22-year-old Las Cruces man accused of severely injuring his girlfriend's one-year-old son in 2011 was sentenced to five years supervised probation and was allowed to walk out of court a free man.

The child abuse case against Nick Medina drug out for nearly two and a half years. When he was finally sentenced, he only received five years supervised probation as part of his Alford plea.

Medina's plea admits he believes prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt if the case were to go to trial, but he does not admit guilt of the acts he's charged with.

According to the police report obtained by ABC-7 nine people were interviewed in the child abuse case, but not a single witness was presented at Medina's sentencing hearing to speak on behalf of his character.

Medina was initially charged with seven counts of causing bodily harm to then one-year-old Rylee Lock, the son of his girlfriend in November 2011, Sierra Salas. Five charges were dropped. In addition to five years of supervised probation, he was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and ordered not to be with anyone under the age of 18 without supervision, besides his own biological child.

Pictures obtained by a public records request show Rylee had scratches on his head, a broken arm, injuries consistent with cigarette burns to his feet, and bruising around his neck. Prosecutors say the child was made to be in his bed for 20 hours a day. Rylee is now four and under the custody of his father out of state.

"Well I'm very, very upset about it. You know, I thought things would have turned out different and I also didn't think things would lag on as far as they did," Lock said over the phone. He said he's grateful his son is no longer living in fear.

If Medina violates his probation, he must serve six years in prison. Rylee's mother, Sierra Salas, is scheduled for trial in July.

The ABC-7 New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reached out to District Attorney Mark D''Antonio today to ask why his office didn't push for a stiffer sentence. He refused to comment about the case.

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