Ex-jail guard charged with child molestation

Steve Garrison
Gerek Wilderson

AZTEC — A former guard at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center has been accused of sexually molesting two girls, including a relative.

Gerek Wilderson was charged Monday in Aztec Magistrate Court with five counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, a second-degree felony.

Wilderson, 39, of Aztec, was arrested that same day, according to San Juan County Sheriff's Office detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

Jail administrator Tom Havel said Wilderson was hired Jan. 11 as an adult detention officer. Wilderson resigned that position at 8 a.m. today, according to Havel.

Wilderson's cash-only bond is set at $100,000.

He has not yet retained legal representation, according to court records.

A 16-year-old female relative reported to a deputy on May 13 that Wilderson groped her several years ago at his residence in San Juan County, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The girl told deputies Wilderson apologized then for his actions, but he recently said lewd comments to her that made her uncomfortable, the affidavit states.

Detectives learned from the girl that Wilderson may also have had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl, the affidavit states.

Detectives interviewed the 13-year-old girl, who reported Wilderson had groped her on several occasions in the past month when she visited his residence, according to the affidavit.

The girl said Wilderson had also sent her sexually suggestive text messages, including a photo of his unzipped pants, the affidavit states.

Wilderson's 17-year-old son told detectives he saw a photo of the 13-year-old girl in her bra and underwear on his father's phone.

The son also reported seeing the girl nude with his father at their residence in April, the affidavit states.

Another 16-year-old girl told detectives Wilderson also sent her inappropriate text messages, but police determined the messages were not criminal in nature, according to the affidavit.

The detective noted in the affidavit that the messages seemed intended to "groom" the girl for future sexual contact.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.