Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Unbroken MC and Wild Bunch riders stand in solidarity on the Graham County Courthouse steps for the victim in a child molestation case.
Change of plea set after an apparent successful settlement conference
By Jon Johnson
Jon Johnson Video/Gila Herald
SAFFORD – The unmistakable deep rumbling of Harley Davidson motorcycles could be heard throughout the courthouse on Wednesday as a group of bikers came together in solidarity for a molestation victim.
The Unbroken Motorcycle Club out of Phoenix rode up to Safford on Wednesday and joined with the Wild Bunch motorcycle riders of Safford and others to show their support for the abused child in the molestation case against Chris James Chacon.
The Unbroken MC is a trade name of its nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Protect the Children Inc. In the program, the bikers provide security anytime a child feels unsafe, escorts the family to court and back home, promotes community awareness and even helps with therapy costs and other essentials, such as school supplies.
Club Vice-President “Tek” spoke with the Gila Herald at the courthouse.
“We help abused kids and their families,” Tek said. “Obviously, we concentrate on the child. We’re there for the child. We show the child that there are people and adults in this world (who) are there to believe them; (who) are there to comfort them and to be there on their side. There’s a lot of abuse that happens. It fractures families and their family becomes a lot smaller because of that but then we bring our family and now they usually have a much larger family. And so, we’re here to stand for that child, to be a wall between them and their abuser. We’re there to empower them so that they can tell their story and so that they can stand up as the true hero. We’re just sidekicks, that’s it.”
Chacon, 31, had a settlement conference Wednesday mediated by Graham County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Peterson. Chacon was represented by Ryan Huffman, of the St. Louis Law Firm out of Tucson, and the state was represented by Graham County Chief Deputy County Attorney L. Scott Bennett.
The settlement conference appeared to be a success, as a change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for later this month. While the details of the proposed plea have yet to be made public, Chacon is facing the possibility of multiple decades behind bars.
Chacon was arrested April 29 and held on a $5 million bond on multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child, and sexual exploitation of a minor. According to police reports, Chacon admitted to a record of systematic sexual abuse on a victim under the age of 10 that had gone on for nearly a year. The abuse involved a variety of abhorrent sexual acts, including some that were captured by Chacon on his phone for his use later, according to his alleged statements to police.
On Wednesday, the bikers rode up to the courthouse and stood vigil outside in solidarity for their support of the victim and the victim’s family. A local “weekend warrior” biker said he knew some of the guys from when he used to ride with them with another group and when they were told of the situation they leaped at the chance to take the scenic ride from Phoenix to Safford and do what they could to help the victim and the victim’s family.
“We’re just here for the child,” Tek said. “Whatever the verdict is one way or another, we’re just here to help the child and family . . . Sometimes the other side will try to intimidate the child. If it happened the way the child said it did they’ve already been exerting their power. So, now the child has bigger and scarier friends than they do.”
For more information about Unbroken MC, click here.