Man accused of molesting, groping young female relative
San Juan County Sheriff's Office handled investigation
- Henry Herrera is accused of two first-degree felony counts of criminal sexual penetration and three second-degree felony counts of criminal sexual contact.
- Herrera was released on his own recognizance following his first appearance Monday in Aztec Magistrate.
- His preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Feb. 14 in Aztec Magistrate Court.
FARMINGTON — A San Juan County man is facing six felony charges for multiple alleged incidents of molesting and groping a young female relative.
Henry Herrera, 59, is accused of two first-degree felony counts of criminal sexual penetration and three second-degree felony counts of criminal sexual contact, according to court records.
He is accused of two incidents of molesting and four incidents of groping a young female relative, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Adam Bell, Herrera's attorney, could not be reached for comment today.
The investigation was launched on Jan. 17 after a detective for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office received a report from New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department. The report was about a girl who had told friends at her school about alleged sexual abuse involving a relative, according to court documents.
A short meeting was held with CYFD with the alleged victim's parents, then a safehouse interview was conducted with the alleged victim.
During the interview, the girl described two instances in San Juan County during which Herrera allegedly molested her and three instances of Herrera allegedly groping her with skin-to-skin contact.
The alleged victim stopped one of the alleged incidents with Herrera by getting the attention of another relative in the same room, according to court documents.
The affidavit does not give a time or date for most of the alleged incidents. It does state that one of the alleged incidents occurred "last year."
On Jan. 29, an interview was conducted with Herrera at the Sheriff's Office. He did not talk to the detective about the allegations from the victim, remaining silent during significant portions of the interview, according to court documents.
He allegedly only spoke twice, stating, "It didn't happen" and "I gotta go" before he walked out of the interview.
Herrera was released on his own recognizance following his first appearance Monday in Aztec Magistrate Court and was ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor, according to court records.
His preliminary hearing was set for the morning of Feb. 14 in Aztec 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.