Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
After news broke on Monday that 36-year-old Timothy Bachicha had been arrested in a kidnapping and rape case, the District Attorney’s office said more women have come forward saying they were also victims.
And it appears the women who spend time on the streets around Central knew Bachicha well.
In a police report filed in April, a 44-year-old woman told detectives that after she was raped her friend saw Bachicha dropping her off in his car and knew something was wrong because “she recognized the car as someone who was always out hurting women.”
Police reports released Thursday show that since June 2017, six women have reported that Bachicha held them hostage in his car and raped them in parking lots and alleyways around town. Many of those reports never resulted in charges, or if they did the cases were dismissed.
Michael Patrick, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said that’s because the victims – whom he described as “some of the most vulnerable in our community” – could not be contacted again by law enforcement to testify. Prosecutors are trying to find them again.
Police reports paint pictures of women who were homeless, struggling with mental illness, and distrustful of law enforcement. A couple of them refused to be seen by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner after being attacked.
One woman initially told a police officer in March that she wanted to aid in the prosecution, but by the time detectives in the Albuquerque Police Department sex crimes unit tried to call her three weeks later, her phone had been disconnected.
The pattern appears to have changed with the most recent victim.
The 21-year-old woman told the Journal on Thursday that she intends to be at every court hearing to make sure Bachicha is prosecuted.
“I definitely don’t feel like backing down,” she said. “If somebody had done something about this sooner, this wouldn’t have happened to me. And I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”
The District Attorney’s Office filed a motion after the arrest asking a judge to keep Bachicha behind bars until trial. Bachicha’s attorney did not contest the motion, and Bachicha will stay in jail.
More than a dozen officers, detectives and investigators showed up for the hearing Thursday morning Downtown in 2nd Judicial District Court.
Forced into van
The 21-year-old woman, an actress from Los Angeles who moved to Albuquerque a couple of months ago to act in a television series, said that on Oct. 30 she was walking to a bus stop near San Mateo and Indian School NE on the way to meet with her director when a man in a green van pulled up next to her and offered her a ride.
She didn’t need a ride.
“He wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer,” she said. “So he climbed out of the car and threw me into the van, and before I knew it I was being taken behind the (University of New Mexico) cancer center.”
The woman said she was terrified she was going to be killed – either strangled or stabbed to death – and dumped in an arroyo.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, she told police he forced her to perform sex acts and choked her until she lost consciousness. She said that about 15 hours later, in the morning, the GPS monitor that Bachicha wore while on probation in another, unrelated case started beeping.
That’s when, she said, he drove her to a nearby Walmart and dropped her off.
“I walked home from there, always looking behind my back to see if he was following, ” she said. “The first person I called was my mother. The second person I called was my friend, and she took me to the rape crisis center.”
Nurses gave the woman a sexual-assault exam and helped her contact the Albuquerque Police Department sex crimes unit.
According to the complaint, when detectives saw a picture she sketched of the suspect, a detective thought it might be Bachicha. Then, the woman positively identified him.
The woman said she was not surprised to hear that Bachicha had been accused of raping women before.
“It was kind of a feeling like based on the things that he was saying to me it felt like this was not his first occurrence,” she said.
Patrick, the DA spokesman, said investigators are working to contact previous victims, including those who had not identified themselves until this week.
“Investigators are currently talking to those potential victims,” he wrote in an email. “Prosecutors and investigators are working closely with the victim from the assault on Oct. 30, 2018, and that case is under investigation.”
The woman said she is frustrated that Bachicha was not stopped earlier but she hopes that other women he assaulted can sleep easier now.
“I’m not in an unstable place. I have my home. I have my job. I have my support systems and friends,” she said. “He really underestimated that, because he thought I would be weak enough to not say anything. I’m not afraid to speak up, because by speaking up I save many other people from going through what I went through and put a stop to it.”
APD sex crimes detectives declined to be interviewed by the Journal.
Patrick said prosecutors are trying to revoke Bachicha’s probation in another case.
In September, he pleaded guilty to two counts of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer after he kicked deputies who were helping his wife serve him with an eviction notice and restraining order.