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Man found guilty of sexual contact with a minor

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A man accused of sexually assaulting two girls previously related to him through marriage was found guilty Wednesday on two counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor, second degree, following a two-day jury trial in New Mexico 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County.

Rutilio Aguirre, 59, of Roswell, was found guilty by the jury on both charges after an hour of deliberation. Judge Dustin K. Hunter said the court would revoke Aguirre’s conditions of release and immediately remanded him to the custody of Chaves County Sheriff’s deputies.

Hunter added the court would also issue an order requiring Aguirre to undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation at the New Mexico Department of Corrections in Santa Fe. Aguirre will then be transported back to Chaves County for a sentencing hearing at a date yet to be determined.

“The jury has spoken and rendered a fair verdict and justice has been served today,” said Imad Awad, Chaves County deputy district attorney, who prosecuted the case.

Debra Lautenschlager, Aguirre’s defense attorney, said after the trial that the defense accepts the verdict and will wait to see the results of the diagnostic evaluation.

Aguirre is accused of forcibly kissing and touching the two girls while he reached beneath their clothing during a visit to their home on a day between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2010.

Prosecutors state the mother then saw Aguirre offending on the youngest of the two victims while in the hallway of the house and subsequently kicked him out of the residence.

The older of the two victims came forward years later that Aguirre touched and forcibly kissed her in a similar way earlier that day in a bedroom at the residence.

According to prosecutors, the mother of the victims did not report the incident to police because a therapist she had consulted told her no one would believe her.

Court documents state that in 2017, Aguirre broke into the house where one of the victims lives with her mother while they were at home. Police were later called, but criminal charges were not brought against Aguirre because he had fled the scene before police arrived.

An employee at La Casa Behavioral Health later contacted police about the alleged sexual assaults June 29, 2018, after the mother talked to her about behavioral issues that the younger victim had as a result of the sexual assault.

When later questioned by police, court documents state Aguirre said he would drink a lot and doesn’t remember if he had done something to the girls that he shouldn’t have.

Aguirre told police it was possible that if he had been drinking and playing with the girls, he could have “overly touched them,” according to court documents.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.