This was Enock Arvizo’s second trial on charges involving this inmate. In the first, jurors found him not guilty of one count of criminal sexual penetration but could not agree on the second.
A jury of 10 men and two women began deliberations Wednesday afternoon and reached a verdict Thursday morning.
Arvizo, who worked as a Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center transport officer, goes to trial again on Monday on rape charges involving another female inmate. Last month, he was convicted of two petty misdemeanor counts of assault after attempting to kiss a third inmate. Attorneys agreed to divide Arvizo’s case into three trials – one for each of his accusers. The alleged encounters took place in the spring of 2015, according to court documents.
He initially faced charges involving two more women, which were dismissed over the death of an essential witness, according to court documents.
Arvizo’s attorney, Stephen Lane, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Arvizo resigned from MDC shortly after the inmate in this week’s trial reported the sexual assault to an attorney. He later provided a written statement to his boss admitting that he had sex with her.
Ahead of his retrial, prosecutors raised questions about how jurors should handle the question of consent. Judge Briana Zamora ruled that inmates cannot legally consent to sex with jail guards and that accused corrections officers can’t use consent as a defense in rape trials. She said jurors in this week’s trial would not be asked to consider whether the encounter was consensual.
Arvizo faces up to nine years in prison for the criminal sexual penetration conviction and just under a year of jail time for the assault convictions. He could also be required to register as a sex offender.
Attorney General Hector Balderas, whose office is prosecuting the case, thanked the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office for its investigation of the case.
“My office will hold the powerful accountable when they prey on New Mexico’s most vulnerable,” he said, “and we will continue to combat sexual violence against women.”