Santa Fe magistrate says he lacks jurisdiction to release man accused of rape until trial

Redwolf Pope

A Santa Fe County Magistrate Court judge ruled Wednesday that Redwolf Pope, accused in a high-profile rape case, will be held in jail here until his January trial in state District Court.

Judge David Segura said that due to a pending Seattle warrant, he didn’t have jurisdiction to release Pope, 43, of Santa Fe on house arrest with electronic monitoring, as ordered last month by a District Court judge as a sanction against state prosecutors who had violated evidence rules.

Pope faces two counts of rape in Seattle, where he also has a residence. Officials there have requested his extradition. But Segura said Pope will remain in Santa Fe — behind bars — until his case in New Mexico is resolved.

“The defendant shall be held without bond. That’s the rule and I’m to abide by that,” Segura said during the Wednesday hearing.

Pope — who has portrayed himself as a Native American activist, though his tribal affiliation has not been confirmed — is accused of raping an unconscious woman in a Santa Fe hotel in August 2017 and recording the incident on video. He also faces kidnapping and voyeurism charges here.

He is accused of similar crimes in Seattle.

In late September, District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sanctioned prosecutors, saying they had failed to provide the defense with copies of search warrants for an iPad, and therefore had violated the rules of discovery, which is a court procedure for sharing evidence in a criminal case.

The judge had given Pope’s public defender, Brad Kerwin, the option of deciding between imposing a fine on prosecutors or allowing Pope’s release. Kerwin opted for his client’s release.

Last week, prosecutors asked Marlowe Sommer to reconsider her order for Pope’s release, but she refused.

On Wednesday, Kerwin asked Segura to follow Marlowe Sommer’s ruling, arguing Pope would remain under house arrest. Pope had told Marlowe Sommer he would stay with a girlfriend in Albuquerque if he were released on electronic monitoring.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Padgett Macias argued, however, that Marlowe Sommer’s decision did not meet constitutional requirements and ignored the fact that Pope was found to be a danger to the community.

Segura agreed with the prosecutor, ordering Pope to remain jailed.

(1) comment

Stefanie Beninato

At least the magistrate court judge has better sense than the district court judge Mary Marlowe Sommer. Really releasing a person who is on video committing the crimes he is accused of and being charged with the same crimes in Seattle and Marlowe Sommer releases him as a "punishment" on the laxity of the DA? That decision was really a punishment of our whole community.

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