Peter Andrew Ernst
Peter Andrew Ernst (null)

FARMINGTON — A convicted sex offender is wanted for allegedly raping a woman in Aztec last weekend.

A woman was raped Saturday at the Thriftway in Aztec at 416 N. Main Ave., according to a news release from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

Peter Andrew Ernst, 26, was drinking with a friend of his girlfriend at the Thriftway that day. He allegedly followed the woman into a room at the gas station and raped her, said sheriff's office Detective Sgt. Kyle Lincoln.

According to Lincoln, after the incident, Ernst quit his job and fled to Navajo, which is more than 100 miles southwest of Aztec, near the New Mexico-Utah border.

"We also learned that Ernst had been convicted of a previous rape in the military and is a convicted sex offender in Arizona," Lincoln said in a news release.

Ernst last registered as a sex offender in Arizona's Maricopa County in 2012.

Ernst did not tell Arizona authorities he moved, and he did not register as a sex offender in San Juan County, according to Deputy Robert Tallman, who is part of the sheriff's office sex offender unit.

Ernst has been living in the area for the past year.

He is wanted on suspicion of five counts of criminal sexual penetration, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, aggravated battery, failure to register as a sex offender and kidnapping to inflict death, physical injury or a sexual offense on the victim, which is a first-degree felony.

His combined bond for all the charges will be $200,000, according to the sheriff's office.

Ernst's current location is not known. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call sheriff's office detectives at 505-334-6107 or Crime Stoppers at 505-334-TIPS (8477) where callers can remain anonymous and receive a cash reward.

Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and rboetel@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.