LOS LUNAS — Early this morning, New Mexico State Police arrested a Los Lunas High School coach who has been charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Johnathon M. Bindues
Charged and arrested

Johnathon M. Bindues, 30, of Los Lunas,  who is the girls’ track and field coach, and an assistant coach with the girls’ basketball team at LLHS, was arrested and charged after the mother of a 15-year-old girl found her daughter was sexually communicating by cellphone through text messages, videos and pictures with Bindues.

Bindues was named the LLHS girls’ track and field coach in 2019.

The state police investigations bureau was called on Friday, July 16, to investigate the claims. Agents discovered and confirmed the conversations between Bindues and the girl.

During the investigation, state police agents learned between June 13-15, during a three-day exchange of sexually explicit text messages, photos and videos, Bindues asked the 15-year-old to send videos and photos of herself to him.

During the search of a laptop issued to the girl by Los Lunas Schools, agents discovered numerous nude videos and photos of the 15-year-old. Agents confirmed both cellphone numbers used belonged to Bindues and the 15-year-old girl.

On Friday, July 16, an arrest warrant was issued for Bindues through the Valencia County Magistrate Court, and he was arrested without incident at a home in Los Lunas in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 17.

He was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center in Los Lunas.

Bindues was charged with the following:

•Sexual exploitation of child (causing or permitting to engage in act, under 18) (3 counts) (3rd Degree Felony)

•Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (3 Counts) (4th Degree Felony)

The name of the juvenile victim will not be released by state police. This case is an on-going investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau.

Los Lunas Schools Superintendent Dr. Arsenio Romero said the state police contacted him about 1:30 a.m., on Saturday, to inform him about the arrest of an LLS employee.

“I can’t really comment because this will be a personnel issue. Right now, I can confirm state police have arrested a Los Lunas Schools employee,” Romero said Saturday afternoon.

The superintendent said typically when an employee is arrested, they are put on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations by law enforcement and the district.

“After that, they could possible be subject to dismissal,” he said.

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Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.