PLATTSMOUTH – A judge ordered a former Cass County resident to remain on probation and begin paying more than $18,000 in child support on Monday.
Ruben Montoya Jr., 35, appeared in Cass County District Court for a sentencing hearing. He admitted that he had violated probation during a recent court date. The state alleged he had missed probation appointments over the past year.
Montoya, who has recently lived in both Omaha and Des Moines, first appeared in district court in June 2011 for a child support hearing. He was ordered to make payments of $215 per month until 2026.
Montoya was sentenced to probation in December 2017 after the court learned he owed $18,380.63 in unpaid child support. Judge Michael Smith ordered him to serve 24 months on probation and pay $265 per month in child support. Montoya was also required to obtain his GED, attend probation meetings and complete moral recognition therapy sessions.
Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde told the court Monday that Montoya had not met very many of those requirements. He said Montoya had also not made any progress on his child support debt. He asked the court to issue a jail sentence.
“I don’t think keeping him on probation is going to serve much of a purpose at this point,” Fedde said.
Defense attorney Julie Bear said her client suffers from several medical issues that have prevented him from making regular payments. She asked the court to keep Montoya on probation. She said he would be willing to abide by additional probation terms that would provide more structure in his life.
Smith said he would keep Montoya on probation for the time being to give him a final opportunity to pay child support. Montoya will be required to pay $265 per month or face the possibility of jail time.
“You haven’t done a lot of things that you were supposed to on probation, and you have done nothing on the child support issues,” Smith said. “I want you to be in a position to pay these child support debts.”