SANTA FE, N.M. — An elderly Las Vegas, N.M., man who formerly ran a day care center with his wife now stands charged with molesting a total of three girls in years past.
New charges alleging abuse of two girls from the day care center were filed against Edward “Eddie” Quintana, 71, on Feb. 29. He was first charged in December, for allegedly assaulting a young family member about 16 years ago.
Quintana and his wife formerly ran Viola’s Day Care. According to the state Children, Youth and Families Department, the day care center was licensed from 1998 to 2006 to provide care for up to 12 children. The operation became a “registered home” for up to four children through 2009.
CYFD spokesman Enrique Knell said the department is cooperating in the investigation and prosecution of Quintana, who entered not guilty pleas to the latest charges last week.
“We think there are other victims out there and we’re hoping they come forward,” said assistant Las Vegas district attorney Luann Linsalata.
In the two new cases:
♦ Quintana is charged with criminal sexual contact of a minor, a second-degree felony, for touching the private parts of a girl, then 8 years old, in 2002. The alleged victim, now a young woman, said the touching took place numerous times between 2000 and 2002 while she was at the day care center.
The woman told police Quintana took her to a cemetery to put flags on graves. He pulled her pants down, touched her and told her not to tell anyone.
♦ Quintana faces two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor who was 7 and 12 at the time of the alleged molestations in 1998 and 2003. She told police he put his hands under her shirt and fondled her breasts. The alleged victim said Quintana improperly touched her numerous times between 1998 and 2003.
In December, Quintana was charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor under age 13 and two counts of criminal sexual contact of a clothed minor under 13.
In that case, the alleged victim was an 8-year-old relative of Quintana when the alleged abuse took place in 1995. Now a young woman, she came forward to Las Vegas police last summer, resulting in an investigation that led to Quintana’s arrest and prompted other women to come forward with allegations.
This woman told police that Quintana told her that “someone had done (their) family wrong and that he wanted to pray over them,” before taking her to her bedroom, where the sexual assault occurred, the police affidavit says.
After the assault, Quintana bought the girl ice cream and asked if she “enjoyed what he did to her.” She told him no, according to a police statement.
Two of the counts from December – the criminal sexual contact charges – were dismissed recently by prosecutors because the statute of limitations had expired. The two counts of criminal sexual penetration have been reduced to attempted CSP of a minor as the case heads to district court.
Prosecutor Linsalata said it can be difficult for victims to come forward and disclose abuse, and that some who may have accusations against Quintana could still be minors.