Former firefighter facing charges in new criminal case - Albuquerque Journal

Former firefighter facing charges in new criminal case

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Celso Montaño

A former Bernalillo County firefighter is yet again facing criminal charges after a woman told police that he handcuffed and attacked her, according to court documents.

Celso Montaño, 45, made headlines in October when authorities said they had used DNA evidence to link him to a 2009 rape case. That case was dismissed, however, when prosecutors discovered the alleged victim had died not long before the case was filed against Montaño.

According to a criminal complaint filed Saturday, Montaño had been hanging out at his Northeast Albuquerque apartment with a woman he’d met on an online dating website. The woman told police she was smoking in his bathroom when he handcuffed her and then tried to pull off her pants, police said.

“He was unable to lower her pants due to her physically and actively resisting against him,” an Albuquerque Police Department officer wrote in a criminal complaint.

Montaño then choked her and tried to put a rag in her mouth, leaving her unable to breathe, according to the complaint. The woman said she screamed at Montaño asking him to remove the handcuffs. He told her he would have to go buy a key, and then left with her purse and cellphone, police said. His 2- or 3-year-old child was home the entire time, and the woman said that she stayed at the apartment because she didn’t want the child to be left alone. She left and called for help – still handcuffed – after Montaño returned about 10 minutes later without a key, the complaint states.

Montaño is facing multiple charges including abandonment of a child, aggravated battery and false imprisonment.

In 2012, he was charged with multiple counts of kidnapping, rape and assault in separate attacks on four women within a three-month period. The women told police they were either sex workers or had accepted a ride from Montaño before he raped them. Montaño pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts each of patronizing prostitution and criminal sexual contact in that case.

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