Attorney General Hector Balderas
SANTA FE — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Wednesday that James Brandon Henz pled guilty to 12 counts involving six child victims.
The crimes committed against the minor victims include criminal sexual penetration of a minor, criminal sexual contact of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and bribery of a witness.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Henz will be sentenced to at least 18 years in the Department of Corrections and faces a maximum sentence of 88.5 years.
Sentencing will be set after a sentencing evaluation is completed. Henz will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
“My Office will not tolerate those who prey on our vulnerable children, and I am grateful to the victims and their families for having the courage to come forward to ensure that this predator will no longer have the opportunity to harm others,” Attorney General Balderas said.
This case originated when the New Mexico Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, headquartered at the Office of the Attorney General, received a cyber tip indicating that Henz was viewing materials depicting the sexual exploitation of children. That tip led investigators to discover Henz had access to multiple children who were all related to him. Henz was arrested and preventatively detained following a preliminary hearing in January 2021.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Police Department in collaboration with the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, and prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan D. Gardner and Caitlin L. Dillon.
The case was brought as a part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track and capture internet child sexual predators on internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are more than 90 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) grant administered by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General.
Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement or make an anonymous report through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, (http://www.missingkids.org/cybertipline) or calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1.800.843.5678).