Alleged incident occurred in 2013 at Farmington church

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FARMINGTON — An Albuquerque man is accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile female in a bathroom in a Farmington church nearly five years ago.

Gregory Villalva, 58, is accused of a second-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration, according to court records.

Villalva allegedly sexually assaulted a juvenile female at the Oasis Church at 1601 N. Dustin Ave. on Dec. 12, 2013, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Ruth Wheeler, Villalva's public defender, declined comment on the case.

An officer for the Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 6:58 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2013, to the church on reports of a sexual assault, according to court documents.

A pastor spoke to the officer, stating a man later identified as Villalva had been in the family restroom with the victim.

The officer visited the victim's residence and spoke to her mother.

The affidavit states the victim had sustained a traumatic brain injury early in life and had the "mental capacity" of an 8- or 9-year-old at the time of the alleged incident. 

The mother told the officer a church friend had found her daughter in the restroom with an unknown male.

The victim detailed the alleged incident while speaking to the officer and during an examination by a certified nurse examiner at Sexual Assault Services of Northwest New Mexico on Dec. 13, 2013. She stated Villalva allegedly threaten her several times if she told anyone about the alleged incident.

During the exam, DNA swabs of the victim were collected.

Villalva was identified as the alleged suspect on Dec. 30, 2013, when the victim's family observed him at a Farmington Walmart, according to court documents.

A Farmington detective met with Villalva on Jan. 23, 2014, and conducted an interview with him. During the interview, Villalva denied the accusation and denied having any contact with the victim.

A DNA sample from Villalva was obtained at the end of the interview.

On Jan. 27, 2016, DNA evidence collected in the case was submitted to the New Mexico State Forensic Laboratory for analysis. 

Farmington police received a lab report on Jan. 13, 2017, containing the results from the items examined in the case. The forensic scientist identified Villalva as the source of the male suspect DNA found on a swab collected from the victim, stating it was an exact match.

Villalva has been released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center per court order.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 28 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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