State District Judge T. Glenn Ellington on Tuesday sentenced a Santa Fe man convicted of raping a homeless woman to 11½ years in prison, despite the defendant’s claims that he had been wrongly convicted and had been trapped by a police officer with racist intentions.
“You see yourself as the victim… [but] you are a career criminal,” the judge told 54-year-old Marlon Henry. “You are also a sexual predator.”
Assistant District Attorney Alyssa Cervantes had asked the judge to sentence Henry to more than 25 years in the case, arguing that his 40-year criminal history included a tendency to target homeless women in hopes they wouldn’t. would not denounce.
But Henry’s lawyer, Samuel Ruyle, argued and the judge agreed that the four counts of criminal sexual penetration he was convicted of were part of a single episode and should be combined into one count . Henry got nine years for rape; the other 21/2 years were tied to battery charges that included an enhanced sentence for recidivism.
Henry was tried twice in this case. His first trial in October 2020 ended in a mistrial after coronavirus and other health concerns for the jury delayed deliberations for several weeks. His second trial in September resulted in his conviction.
Henry’s victim – who had to be subpoenaed to give evidence at his trial – testified that she knew Henry when they were both on the street, adding that he picked her up outside a fast food joint and had taken her to his home on Cerro Gordo Road. She said he held her against her will and sexually assaulted her all night before rubbing her to remove all traces of her DNA before they left the house.
She said she was able to escape by jumping out of a vehicle when it pulled over and she ran to a hospital.
Henry – who testified at the first trial despite his lawyer’s objections – said he was the one who ended their intimacy after the woman appeared to be unhappy with the encounter, which he said included but didn’t never got past oral sex.
He said he suggested she take a shower the next day and helped her wash her hair because she was so disheveled he didn’t want his neighbors to see her.
He testified that they picked up another man from Allsup, where he went to buy the woman more vodka. Henry said he dropped them both off at a bus stop and never saw them again.
Henry explained this version of events in a lengthy statement in court on Tuesday, saying the other man was also black and was likely the perpetrator.
But he also said a Santa Fe police officer with a vendetta against him took the opportunity to confuse the victim and manipulate the evidence to make it look like Henry committed the crime.
Cervantes said Henry’s criminal history spans 40 years and spans multiple states, and includes seven prior felony convictions.
Henry had a history of abusing women and engaging in predatory behavior, the prosecutor said, adding that the DNA sample taken from him during that case linked him to a 2015 rape in Albuquerque. The charges against him are still pending in this case.
Ellington commented at the hearing that Henry was in some ways an ‘anomaly’ – in that unlike many people who appear in court, Henry was educated and did not come from a broken home with no support family.
On the contrary, Henry’s mother testified by telephone that her son’s middle-class upbringing was “not a hard life”. He was a child actor who was chosen out of 300 hopefuls to appear in an ABC movie and later appeared in a McDonald’s commercial.
“At 15 he started doing drugs and that was it,” his mother said, adding that her son was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Henry’s mother and her attorney asked the court to sentence Henry to probation so he could receive the treatment he needed.
Henry has been incarcerated since his 2018 arrest and has completed every type of programming offered by the Santa Fe County Jail without a single disciplinary offense, according to his attorney.
In his court statement, Henry noted that there were no blacks on the jury and described the Santa Fe Police Department as an organization “rich in racial hatred and police misconduct.”
“Under no circumstances can I afford the luxury of ignorance or the acceptance of injustice,” he said. “Especially as a black man in 2022.”
Henry told the court he was diagnosed with heart failure and hepatitis C while incarcerated. “I will most likely die in prison,” he said.
But Ellington seemed indifferent to Henry’s speech.
“I heard you blaming everyone but yourself,” Judge said. “You said another black man was responsible for all of this, but the jury determined that you were the person who committed these crimes and there was no one else.”
Dressed in a tan prison jumpsuit and white crocheted skullcap, Henry buried his face in his hands and shook his head as the judge ordered him into the custody of the state Department of Corrections. .
Henry intends to appeal his conviction, Ruyle said.