RIO RANCHO, N.M. — A Rio Rancho man is charged with repeatedly raping a pre-teen girl for more than a year.
A Sandoval County grand jury indicted Roberto Rodriguez, 28, Feb. 26 on 14 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child younger than 13 and five counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, all felonies.
According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed in Sandoval County Magistrate Court, a Rio Rancho Police detective was called to a local middle school Feb. 5.
A 12-year-old girl told investigators Rodriguez had been sexually abusing her since she was in fourth grade, at times while her mother was in a nearby room.
He raped her, touched her inappropriately and took pictures of her genitals, according to the affidavit.
The girl told investigators she was afraid Rodriguez would ground her or physically punish her if she resisted, since he had previously struck her with a belt on the arms, legs and buttocks for disobeying him.
On one occasion, she said, he promised her the abuse would stop if she allowed it once more, but he broke the promise, according to the affidavit.
The girl told her mother about the abuse in July 2014, and her mother didn’t allow Rodriguez to see her for three weeks, the girl said.
However, according to the affidavit, the abuse eventually restarted after Rodriguez was allowed contact with her again.
Rodriguez told the detective during an interview that he didn’t abuse the girl and didn’t know why she’d accuse him.
He later took a polygraph test but performed poorly and then admitted to perpetrating the abuse, according to the affidavit.
His arraignment is set for March 30.