Judge declares mistrial in case of man accused of sexual assault, molestation of girl

New trial dates have not been rescheduled yet

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Guillermo Jacobo-Perez, 52, is accused of a first-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration and a second-degree felony count of criminal sexual contact, according to the amended criminal complaint.
  • The prosecution believes Judge Marsh declared the mistrial after defense attorney Shane Goranson was using "improper impeachment" of a witness and was unfairly prejudicing the jury in the process, O'Brien said.
  • Jacobo-Perez was a defendant initially charged with 296 felony sexual abuse charges in April 2018, a figure that declined over time to the current set of charges, which were updated on Aug. 4, 2021.

FARMINGTON — A mistrial was declared this week in the case of an Aztec man facing two felony counts of sexual assault who has been waiting for a trial for more than three years.

During that time the defendant has seen his charges dwindle from nearly 300 counts of sexual contact and assault down to two current charges.

A county prosecutor accused a defense attorney of using a tactic that caused the judge to declare a mistrial. 

Guillermo Jacobo-Perez, 52, is accused of a first-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration and a second-degree felony count of criminal sexual contact, according to the amended criminal complaint.

Jacobo-Perez allegedly sexually assaulted a girl under the age of 13 years old between Jan. 1, 2014 and Sept. 3, 2016 and is also accused of molesting her between Dec. 1, 2013 and Jan. 14, 2017, according to court documents.

More:Aztec man denies allegations of sexual misconduct

The defendant was arrested on April 28, 2018, and his case has been pending in state district court since Aug. 10, 2018.

Jacobo-Perez was scheduled for a two-day trial on Jan. 24 and 25. District Court Judge Daylene Marsh declared a mistrial on Jan.25, according to San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O’Brien and court records.

The prosecution believes Judge Marsh declared the mistrial after defense attorney Shane Goranson used "improper impeachment" of a witness and was unfairly prejudicing the jury in the process, O'Brien said.

Goranson told The Daily Times in a statement it is important to ask questions during a trial to get important information to the jury.

More: Aztec man faces nearly 300 charges for sexual misconduct

"It would be unfair to the jurors to ask them to decide a man’s fate on anything less than a complete picture. I will continue to make sure that Guillermo’s rights are upheld," Goranson said.

A new trial date has not been scheduled, according to court records.

It was about three years and nine months between the defendant's arrest and the first jury trial date. 

Defendant initially faced more than 300 charges

Jacobo-Perez was initially charged with 296 felony sexual abuse charges in April 2018, a figure that declined over time to the current set of charges, which were updated on Aug. 4, 2021.

The figure swelled to 330 charges on June 5, 2018, then was reduced to 81 charges when the case was filed in state district court on Aug. 10, 2018, according to court records.

O’Brien said the prosecution pared down the charges to the current set in the interest of "judicial economy" in order to try the case in a reasonable amount of time. 

The DA's office also cited case law, stating each count which goes before a jury has to be distinctive enough to differentiate from another count. 

Jacobo-Perez denied the allegations during an interview with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the agency that handled the investigation.

The juvenile female told a detective Jacobo-Perez frequently sexually assaulted and molested her when she was 8 or 9 years old.

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.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e