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Second suit accuses former Española mayor of sex abuse

SANTA FE — A second sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against former Española mayor Richard Lucero, this one from an alleged victim who says Lucero drugged him and raped him multiple times when he was a boy starting in the late 1960s.

The new suit follows one from July which accuses Lucero, who served 22 years as mayor off and on between 1968 and 2006 and who is now about 85 years old, of sexually abusing the son of a former employee starting in the mid-1980s. Lucero has denied those allegations.

Attorney Robert Gorence of Albuquerque, representing Lucero in the first suit, said Friday he hadn’t been served with the new filing by attorneys from the Rothstein Donatelli law firm.


Former Espanola Mayor Richard Lucero, who now faces two lawsuits alleging he sexually abused young boys decades ago, is seen here in 2004, speaking about a political campaign. (Journal File)

According to the latest suit filed his week in state District Court in Santa Fe, Lucero was in a leadership position at a Boy Scouts camp and began “targeting” the alleged victim there, then recruited the boy into an Española-area youth group. The plaintiff, is identified only as “John Doe,” also worked for Lucero at his Country Farm Supply store in Española, the suit says.

The first rape occurred while Lucero and the plaintiff were on a road trip to Colorado, the suit maintains. Lucero stopped at a store in a small town near the Colorado border and came out with two beverages. He gave one to the plaintiff.

“Upon drinking the beverage provided by Defendant Lucero, Plaintiff got drowsy, and passed out for at least an hour,” the suit says. “It was very unusual for Plaintiff to fall asleep under circumstances such as those because, being an impressionable young man from Rio Arriba County, he was vigilant to maintain an eye on his surroundings.”

The suit says Lucero then raped the plaintiff, and he woke up in pain. After that incident, the plaintiff went with Lucero on another trip to Roswell. Lucero “had a supply of horse tranquilizer with him for this trip,” the suit says. Lucero got drinks for him. “As soon as Plaintiff drank his, he again blacked out and Defendant Lucero again forcefully sodomized him.” The plaintiff says he woke up in pain again.

On the third occasion, Lucero took the plaintiff and two other boys on a trip to Amarillo, Texas, and they all stayed in a hotel room together after Lucero took the boys to a bar. In the middle of the night, the plaintiff awoke with Lucero on top of him and raping him. “While Plaintiff blacked out from the pain, the vile smell of Defendant Lucero’s body odor is seared into his memory,” the suit says.

Along with Lucero, the lawsuit names as defendants Boy Scouts of America (also a defendant in the July suit), Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Española, Monastery of Christ in the Desert and Lucero’s farm supply store. The suit said Lucero’s youth group had activities as a “wing” of Sacred Heart and participated in fundraising for the monastery near Abiquiu, and that the plaintiff worked at Lucero’s store.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit because it has filed for bankruptcy protection. But the suit says the plaintiff has filed a claim against the archdiocese in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.


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