Man accused of kidnapping, sex charges at area business
The suspect is being held at the jail on a no-bond hold
FARMINGTON — A San Juan County man is accused of multiple charges for allegedly kidnapping a woman and forcing her to perform oral sex on him in a San Juan County business.
Leonard Barela, 38, is accused of six charges including kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration, false imprisonment and vehicle burglary, according to court records.
Sarah Field, Barela's public defender, could not be reached for comment Friday.
A San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy was dispatched on March 12 to San Juan Regional Medical Center to investigate a report of a criminal sexual penetration which had taken place the night before, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
A woman told the deputy the alleged incident occurred at a business east of Farmington on County Road 5367 called Barela's Trucking.
She had just finished her first day working at the business when she went to her vehicle after 9 p.m. and found the rear-passenger tire on her vehicle was flat. The suspect was also charged with tampering with a motor vehicle.
According to the narrative in the court document, Barela tried to fix the flat but it was muddy and rainy outside. He told the woman he was going to call a friend with a tow truck to lift the vehicle. After waiting an hour or two, the woman let Barela know she was frustrated with the wait and was wondering where his friend was.
She then noticed the battery on her phone was low and went outside to get her phone charger from her vehicle, but it was missing.
When asked if he took her phone charger, Barela is accused of directing the woman to a bedroom in the trailer and then pinning her down onto a bed.
Barela allegedly stopped pinning her after she scratched him on his face, and she entered the bathroom.
After she returned to the bedroom, the court document states that the suspect took off his clothes and forced her to perform oral sex on him.
Afterward, according to a statement in the affidavit, Barela threw the phone chargers to her and told her to be back at 8 a.m. for work. It states that Barela then filled her flat tire with air and unlocked the gate to the property so she could leave.
Sheriff's Detective Jacob Courtney stated in the affidavit that Barela went “above and beyond” in attempting to keep the alleged victim on the property against her will.
Barela has previous felony convictions including burglary, theft of a credit card, possession of a firearm by a felon and trafficking a controlled substance, according to court records.
He also has a separate pending case for charges including possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence.
Barela waived his preliminary hearings for both pending cases Thursday in Aztec Magistrate Court and the cases were bound over to district court.
He is incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a no-bond hold.
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.