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Albuquerque police union president arrested on child abuse charges

Stephanie Lopez, 40. (MDC)

Stephanie Lopez, 40. (MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association was arrested on charges of child abuse Thursday after being accused of repeatedly hitting her daughter, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Stephanie Lopez, 40, was arrested after her 14-year-old daughter told a school resource officer Lopez had repeatedly struck her in the head and face the day before, according to the complaint.

The school official called the Children, Youth and Families Department and an investigator interviewed Lopez’s daughter at a safe house. The teen told the investigator that Lopez became upset at her because she hadn’t told her there was a utility shut off notice posted on their door.

“The child explained her mother hit her several times in the face causing significant bruising and pulled her hair before throwing her to the floor,” a detective with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office wrote in the complaint.

The teen told the investigator that as Lopez dropped her off at school she said, “Think about what you say today at school; you won’t be with me; you won’t have your freedom. What happened today is your fault,” according to the complaint.

Lopez’s daughter told the CYFD investigator that she was afraid to go home and the investigator talked to a younger sibling who was present during the incident.

Officer Tanner Tixier, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said officers learned of the allegations against Lopez yesterday but called BCSO to investigate to avoid a conflict of interest.

“APD immediately called in an outside agency to investigate. At this time, no one from the department has read the criminal complaint or been briefed on the specifics of this case,” Tixier said.

Lopez was elected to lead the APOA in April 2013.

She was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on charges of child abuse without great bodily harm and bribery, retaliation or intimidation of a witness and is being held on a $5,000 cash-only bond.

— This is a developing story. Additional information will be added as it becomes available.