SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe judge has released a Native American activist from jail pending trial as a sanction against state prosecutors for violating evidence rules, court officials said.
Redwolf Pope, 43, was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration and voyeurism after prosecutors say he raped a woman in a local hotel in 2017 and recorded the incident.
State District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ordered Pope released from jail pending trial as a sanction for not providing a search warrant affidavit, Sommer said.
Pope is an activist who has been described as having assisted elders and others during 2016 pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.
The defense never received a search warrant affidavit that was used to obtain suspected digital evidence from an iPad showing Pope having sex with unconscious women, Pope’s attorney Brad Kerwin said.
Kerwin was provided with digital photos of the affidavit instead of paper copies, prosecutor Larissa Breen said.
“This is your case, and you need to prepare your case, and you have a duty to disclose,” Sommer told Breen.
Pope was held in the Santa Fe County jail since last September and was released on $2,500 unsecured appearance bond, Sommer said. The failure didn’t warrant suppressing the evidence or dismissing the charges, she said.
Pope is expected to be placed on electronic monitoring and told the judge he would reside at a girlfriend’s house in Albuquerque while the case is pending, officials said.
Pope also faces rape accusations in Seattle, authorities said.