Farmington man convicted of six child sex abuse charges
Frank Little was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday
FARMINGTON — A Farmington man has been convicted of six child sex assault charges stemming from a 2010 case after he was declared competent to stand trial last year after spending more than four years at a secure health facility.
Frank Little, 49, was convicted by a jury on Wednesday of one count of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree, three counts of criminal sexual penetration in the second degree and two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, according to court documents.
He was charged on June 23, 2010, in Farmington district court and was accused of sexually assaulting two young female relatives, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
One of the female relatives told Farmington police about the sexual assaults when she was 19 years old, with the incidents alleged to have taken place around 2003 and 2010, according to court documents.
Ruth Wheeler, Little's public defender, did not respond to requests for comment.
Dustin O’Brien, San Juan County Chief deputy district attorney, said Little was found not competent to stand trial in 2012.
He said there was clear and convincing evidence that he was dangerous, and he was sent to the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, N.M., in summer 2012.
In a May 25, 2012, order, Judge John Dean Jr. ruled that Little remained incompetent to proceed with a trial and that "there is not a substantial probability that (Little) will become competent to proceed in this matter with a reasonable period of time," according to the order.
Little was scheduled to be held at the Las Vegas facility until June 3, 2070, as he was ordered to serve the maximum sentence for four of the charges.
Last year, the DA's Office learned that Little had obtained competency through treatment, and Dean ordered Little to be transferred back to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on July 21, 2016, according to the order.
He was booked into the county jail on Aug. 1, 2016, where he remained incarcerated on Friday.
Little was also evaluated and rejected from pretrial services in November 2016, partially due to him not having a place to live within the court's jurisdiction.
During an Aug. 4 arraignment, Little pleaded not guilty to the charges. A sentencing hearing for Little is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.
The DA's Office has not finalized its recommendation for sentencing, O'Brien said.
The convictions on the six charges carry a minimum of 18 years in prison to a maximum of 93 years of prison time.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.