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8:10am — Suspected Molester Nabbed Before He Could Flee to Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 48-year-old man accused of sexually abusing 5-year-old girl he helped care for.

Santa Fe County sheriff’s detectives on Tuesday arrested a 48-year-old man before he was able to flee to Mexico to evade charges that he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl he helped care for, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Blas Varela was being held at the Santa Fe County Jail on one felony count of criminal sexual penetration of a child, The New Mexican said.

Sheriff’s Detective Donald Romero said in an arrest-warrant affidavit that investigators tried to locate Varela on Tuesday to ask him about the allegations and came across “several clear trash bags which appeared to contain men’s clothing,” the paper reported.

According to court documents, investigators were told that Varela “was packing up items in attempt to flee the state of New Mexico to Juarez, Mexico,” The New Mexican said.

Undersheriff Robert Garcia said Varela was detained before an arrest warrant was completed because he was a flight risk and a potential danger to others in the community, according to the paper.

Police reports said the 5-year-old girl had told a family member that Varela had been touching her under her clothes and that a sexual-assault exam showed results that were consistent with the allegations, The New Mexican said.


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