FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield man was arrested for suspicion of raping a 3-year-old girl behind a bush at the First Baptist Church in Bloomfield.
Sammy Pacheco, 48, was arrested late Saturday and charged with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13 years old, a first-degree felony. He was also charged with tampering with evidence.
Police were called by the victim's mother to an apartment complex on Sycamore Street in Bloomfield after the girl's mother found her unclothed daughter crying near Pacheco behind a bush at the church.
The girl and her mother were staying with Pacheco, who is a relative, at his apartment and Pacheco had taken the girl to Family Dollar for juice when an attack occurred, Bloomfield police Detective Jeremiah Whitaker said.
The girl's "Dora the Explorer" underwear was found in the bushes at the church. There was evidence she had been sexually assaulted, police said.
Pacheco denied assaulting the girl, according to court documents. He said he took off her clothes so she could go to the bathroom.
The girl had just recently turned 3, Whitaker said.
Pacheco is being held on a $75,000 cash-only bond, Lt. Carroll Scott said in a news release.
Police said additional charges for manufacturing child pornography may be pending against Pacheco.
Whitaker said Bloomfield police responded to Pacheco's apartment complex again the day after his arrest. A man at the residence had found memory cards with pictures of naked children on them. The children in the photos appear to be between the ages of 3 and 10.
He said nude pictures of Pacheco's victim also were found in the memory cards.
"There may be more victims," he said. "Some of the children in the pictures, based on the backgrounds, appear to be from San Juan County."Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.