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UPDATED: ‘Arroyo Molester’ Trial Back On

Genaro Sandoval
Genaro Sandoval

The trial is set to continue in a decade-old case of a former Gallup paramedic charged with raping an 11-year-old boy in an Albuquerque arroyo.

Genaro Sandoval is scheduled today to go back to state District Court in Albuquerque.

Prosecutors say DNA evidence links the 39-year-old to a 2003 rape of a boy who was walking home from middle school.

But Sandoval’s attorneys say it’s unclear whether Sandoval is the one responsible for the crime.

The case has been revived after 10 years because of DNA evidence.

Sandoval also is accused of molesting five other boys in Albuquerque in separate cases.

1/12/13 — ‘Arroyo Molester’ Victim Recounts Events

By Scott Sandlin/Journal Staff Writer

The victim of the so-called “arroyo molester” was calm and deliberate as he testified Friday about being forced onto all fours and sexually assaulted as an 11-year-old almost a decade ago in a tunnel under Comanche NE by a man he didn’t know.

The man, whom the victim identified in court for the first time during his testimony, accosted him while the victim was using an Embudo Arroyo shortcut to his home, which backed onto the channel, on his way home from Hoover Middle School in August 2003.

The man approached him and asked him to write “Matt sucks” on the wall of the tunnel, then to “moon” the video camera the man produced from a backpack. But the man grabbed him and despite attempts to escape his grasp, he was forced to pull down his Broncos shorts and pull up his Broncos shirt over his eyes while the man raped him.

Genaro Sandoval, 39, a former paramedic and EMT training director, was arrested in 2007 based on DNA tests that connected him to the attack and has remained in custody since that time.

Joseph Riggs, his attorney, emphasized in his opening statement that the nurse who examined the victim after the assault had been unable to find any lubricant or semen despite the details provided by the boy.

But the nurse, who testified later Friday, said the boy – then slight, boyish and still wearing Scooby-Doo underwear – had been so modest that it was hard to collect samples from him as she had been trained to do, despite two attempts to do so.

The victim is now a lanky 6-footer studying information technology in college.

The encounter began on a path just above the arroyo, when the man asked him to help get back at some skateboarders by putting words on the channel walls.

“I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ (but) he kept persisting and persisting. We walked under (the tunnel) and that’s where ‘it’ unfolded. I believe he said he’d give me like 10 bucks,” he testified.

The victim often remarked on how long ago the event had unfolded and offered some details slightly different from what reports at the time reflect – for instance, being told by the man to count to 300 before leaving after the assault ended, when he told officers 500 at the time.

He said he remembered calling out, “Why are you doing this?” to the man, and complying because of the man’s strength and the man saying he had a gun in the backpack.

Among the first witnesses at the trial was a former relative by marriage to Sandoval, who testified that he had given Sandoval a Colt 45 with a case and ammunition in about 2000. Riggs sought to suppress that testimony beforehand, but District Judge Kenneth Martinez ruled that it could come in.

The victim also testified that someone he thought might have been an Eldorado High School student passed through the tunnel toward the end of the assault, but the victim didn’t call out because of the threat involving the gun.

The trial continues in state District Court in Bernalillo County on Tuesday, when the focus will become the DNA evidence collected from Sandoval in an unrelated case and matched to the August 2003 incident.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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