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He bought her sex toys, joked about showering with her and – in one instance – rubbed her back and pleasured himself as she slept. He was a Rio Rancho school resource officer and she was a 14-year-old relative.
Those were among the allegations made against Joseph Frantz, a former Rio Rancho police officer and New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department employee accused of sexually assaulting the teen last year at a Rio Rancho home.
The 37-year-old was indicted by a grand jury June 17 on charges of criminal sexual contact of a minor, indecent exposure and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in the case.
“Mr. Frantz is devastated by the accusations. He is a man who has devoted his entire life to protecting others and protecting his community. This allegation strikes his core,” Lisa Torraco, Frantz’s attorney, said in an email. “We do not understand some of the allegations and we will know more once we get the police reports and interview witnesses.”
State Police spokesman officer Ray Wilson said the case was “conflicted out” to the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office by the 13th Judicial District attorney and forwarded to prosecutors in mid-March.
New details in the case are contained in a report recently released to the Journal in response to a request under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.
Charlie Moore-Pabst, a CYFD spokesman, said Frantz worked for the agency as a Child Protective Services investigations case worker from June 2015 to March 2019.
On Oct. 25, 2019, the Rio Rancho Police Department posted on Facebook to congratulate Frantz on joining the department. “We are so proud of you!” the department wrote.
Rio Rancho Police Department Lt. Jacquelynn Reedy said Frantz, a former RRPD officer assigned to Cleveland High School, was placed on administrative leave and “relieved of his law enforcement duties” on Dec. 19, 2021.
“Mr. Frantz then applied for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). Mr. Frantz subsequently resigned from the City of Rio Rancho on May 12, 2022,” she said in an email.
According to an incident report obtained by the Journal:
New Mexico State Police responded on Dec. 19, 2021, to reports of a sexual assault at a home in a neighborhood northwest of Southern and Unser. The girl’s aunt and uncle told police they took the girl out of the house after learning of the assault, which allegedly occurred the night before.
Frantz’s wife told police he began acting strange, told her he had exposed himself to the girl and “should have killed himself when he started acting inappropriate.” She said Frantz packed his things and went to a friend’s house.
The wife told police she met Frantz in 2016 when they were both working for CYFD and the pair had recently had marital issues. The date the allegations came to light, Frantz turned in his duty equipment and was taken to Presbyterian Rust Medical Center due to suicidal threats.
Frantz declined to speak with police at the hospital.
The girl told police Frantz’s inappropriate behavior began when he bought her two vibrators and, after she denied wanting them, would leave them in her bathroom or elsewhere. She said Frantz then began to get “touchy” with her, joked about taking a shower together and she more than once walked in on him masturbating in the kitchen.
The girl told police “the most disturbing thing” was when she was having a dream about people touching her and awoke to Frantz rubbing her back and pleasuring himself. She said she made him leave but he came back and started doing it again, this time saying sexual things.
The girl told police she was scared to the point of shaking and couldn’t sleep, so she texted her grandmother and boyfriend to tell them what happened. Detectives were able to track down the receipts of the vibrators Frantz bought, along with surveillance video of the purchases.
They also found text messages from Frantz to the girl referencing the vibrators he bought her and other inappropriate sexual topics.