Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Trial begins of Las Cruces man accused of child rape

LAS CRUCES – A five-day trial of a Las Cruces man accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter began with the jury selection on Monday.

Tommie Joe Valverde, 81, was charged by a grand jury in January 2020 with five cases of criminal sexual contact with a minor and four cases of criminal sexual penetration with a minor.

Police said on an affidavit that Valverde molested and raped his step-daughter several times before she was 10 years old. Much of the abuse allegedly happened while the alleged victim and her siblings stayed with Valverde and his wife over long weekends.

Since the alleged attack, Valverde’s nine-year-old wife and the alleged victim’s biological grandmother have said they believe her husband committed the attack, according to an affidavit.

Valverde pleaded not guilty to the charges in January 2020.

Tommie Joe Valverde, 79, charged with child rape, appears in the Third Judicial District Court on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Valverde was initially held in prison without any ties. However, a judge granted Valverde a secured loan of $ 10,000 shortly after receiving the indictment. Valverde released the bond in February 2020.

The trial is expected to take five days and includes an extensive exhibition and witness lists from prosecutors and defense lawyers. Several family members of the alleged victim were cited as witnesses by prosecutors and defense lawyers.

The trial is due to end on Friday.

Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 575-541-5449 or on Twitter at @ Just516garc.

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