Shockwaves ripple through New Mexico town after football coach arrested for rape

Moriarty High School

MORIARTY, N.M. (KRQE) – High school assistant football coach Damien Hyatt is still behind bars Thursday facing 24 charges, 12 of them for rape, accused of preying on female students.

The superintendent of Moriarty schools told KRQE News 13 Thursday that Hyatt has been fired.

People around the small town of Moriarty are shocked and disgusted with what’s going on.

“Sick, it makes me sick,” said one resident.

KRQE News 13 spoke several residents that had similar reactions. One resident remarked, “it’s totally wrong,” while another said, “there’s a lot of us out here that it really irks.”

Residents and parents of students woke up Friday morning angry and in shock after news broke that a Moriarty High School assistant football coach was arrested Wednesday.

Damien Hyatt, 24, faces twelve charges for rape.

Damien Hyatt
Damien Hyatt

“It’s disgusting, and it breaks every, every common rule for someone to do this and take advantage of their position,” said Torrance County Sheriff Heath White.

The case involves three female students, who accuse Hyatt of buying them alcohol, pressuring them for sex, and even trying to blackmail one of them.

Torrance County deputies say he began having sex and exchanging nude photos with a 15-year-old last fall.

Two other teenage girls told deputies Hyatt would ask them for naked photos.

“I can’t go too far into how this all started because we are dealing with victims, and they’re juveniles at this time,” said Sheriff White.

They’re allegations Torrance County Sheriff Heath White says are sending shockwaves through Moriarty, and it comes at a time when there’s so much community pride surrounding the undefeated football team.

“We came from Los Angeles, things like that happen out there, they don’t happen here,” said Ruth Roberts, Moriarty resident. “It’s quiet and it’s safe, and it makes me really sad.”

Sheriff White says the high school took immediate action after learning of the situation and says the investigation is far from over

“If they didn’t come forward, if they weren’t cooperative then this type of activity could have continued on without our knowledge and there could be a lot more victims,” said Sheriff White.

Hyatt, who was a 2011 Moriarty grad, is expected to make his first appearance in court on Monday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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