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Former Kirtland special needs teacher accused of rape; his attorney calls accusation a lie

The defendant was released from the county jail on Aug. 5

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Rene Poblete, 48, is accused of a third-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration and a misdemeanor count of criminal sexual contact, according to the criminal complaint.
  • Roberto Taboada, spokesman for the Central Consolidated School District, declined to comment on the arrest.
  • The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Aug. 13 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man accused of raping a woman in June is a former Kirtland teacher who resigned from the school district on the day of his arrest.

Rene Poblete, 48, is accused of a third-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration and a misdemeanor count of criminal sexual contact, according to the criminal complaint.

Poblete is accused of fondling and raping a woman on June 30 at a residence northeast of Aztec, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Mitchel Burns, Poblete's attorney, said his client and the woman had an "ongoing consensual relationship" until she mentioned it to her partner. Burns also said the woman opted to "cry rape" instead of dealing with the inappropriate situation she created.

"As a result of her blatant lies, my client is now having to deal with real and serious threats to his reputation, livelihood and freedom," Burns said.

During the investigation, it was learned Poblete was a special needs teacher at Kirtland Middle School.

Poblete was detained by law enforcement on Aug. 4 at the middle school and resigned from his position that day, according to San Juan County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jayme Harcrow.

Roberto Taboada, spokesman for the Central Consolidated School District, declined to comment on the arrest.

Rene Poblete

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office was dispatched around 1:23 a.m. on June 30 to a residence along County Road 2930 northeast of Aztec to investigate an alleged sexual assault, according to court documents.

Investigators were able to obtain initial details from a woman about the alleged crime that night, but a second interview provided more information.

Poblete visited the woman's residence with a bottle of wine and alcohol "shooters" around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. on June 30, according to a court document. She stated she had about half a bottle of wine then three, double shots of alcohol and was highly intoxicated.

Poblete left the residence then returned, and the woman answered the door half-asleep, according to the affidavit. It said she could not recall the entire incident but said she told Poblete no multiple times, but she felt like she had no control.

Poblete is accused of fondling the woman then raping her. The entire incident lasted about 10 minutes, according to the woman.

The affidavit states the woman made a July 4 call to Poblete, where he admitted to having sex with her but claimed he didn't remember any of it due to alcohol and drugs.

He was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Aug. 5 and was ordered to report to the Pre-Trial Services office.

The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Aug. 13 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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