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Local man arrested for alleged sexual assault

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A Roswell man is due to appear next month in Chaves County Magistrate Court on several charges related to alleged sexual abuse of a child in his care and alleged threats to the child’s aunt.

Ruben Mendoza (Submitted Photo)

Ruben Mendoza, 61, was charged Aug. 21 with six felonies: two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, a first-degree felony; one count of sexual contact with a minor, a second-degree felony; one count of sexual contact with a minor, a third-degree felony; one count of attempted sexual penetration, a third-degree felony; and one count of intimidation of a witness, a third-degree felony.

He appeared at an arraignment on Aug. 23 and was released on his own recognizance without entering pleas to the charges. He has been ordered not to have contact with the alleged victims or others who may testify in the case, as well as given several other conditions for his release.

Repeated phone calls to the Chaves County Public Defender Office, which has been assigned to represent him, were not answered Monday.

According to an affidavit filed by a Roswell Police Department officer, the alleged victim told a forensic interviewer about several sexual assaults starting in May. The child’s aunt also is said to have told police that she witnessed an incident involving Mendoza being nude around the child and touching the child’s clothing. According to an affidavit filed by the police with the court, the aunt alleged that Mendoza had threatened her and her husband if she attempted to interfere with his relationship with the child and the child’s two siblings.

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A preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 24 in Chaves County Magistrate Court 2 in Roswell before Judge E.J. Fouratt.

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