CONEJOS COUNTY — A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m.,Wednesday, Nov. 15 for an Alamosa Department of Human Services (DHS) caseworker charged with sexual assault on a child.
It was "Safe2Tell" and a teacher reported the confidential comments of a student to authorities, triggering the arrest of Francisco Andrade Jr., 26, Manassa, on four felony counts including sexual assault on a child, a Class Four Felony, sexual assault on a child, pattern of abuse, a Class Three Felony, sexual Assault on a child by one in a position of trust, child under 15 and part of a pattern of abuse, as Class Three Felony and incest, a Class Four Felony.
Conejos County Judge Kimberly Cortez will preside over the hearing, which is slated to determine if there is probable cause for Andrade to be tried in district court on the charges.
An affidavit and application for an arrest warrant sworn by Manassa Police Chief Patrick Luczak said La Jara Police Chief Jerry Lujan notified him on Oct. 5 that a teacher had called him advising him that a child claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Andrade.
The child claimed to have been sleeping in Andrade’s bed and awakened partially undressed, with Andrade touching in an uncomfortable way.
Apparently, the child’s parents allowed Andrade to care for the child and siblings on numerous occasions.
Luczak stated he called the child’s father on Oct. 1 and the man confirmed the report. Apparently, he was on the way back from Denver when the child had called him on a cell phone and asked to talk with his mother, who was sleeping. Asking what the child needed, he was told that Andrade allegedly touched his buttocks.
An older brother was told to take the child to another location until mom and dad returned from Denver. The parents then spoke to the child together and were told the same story. The child allegedly said it had happened at least three other times.
According to the chief’s affidavit, Andrade told the parents the activity happened “five or six” other times.
The child’s father said he was particularly alarmed because Andrade was a caseworker and “it is his job to help kids.”
Another incident cited was when the child had been watching a movie with Andrade when the child’s pants allegedly were partially removed and Andrade was allegedly acting in a manner that made the child uncomfortable.
Undated incidents recalled by the child included a time when the child was watching a movie with all siblings in the room and Andrade offered a place on his lap. While the movie was playing, Andrade is accused of putting his fingers under the child’s waistband and rubbing the pubic and buttocks area. The child claimed to have been so embarrassed and afraid that nothing was said.
When asked why the teacher wasn’t told about the other times, the child declared love for Andrade, who is a relative, and thought he would stop and not do it any more.
The child reportedly did not want to see Andrade again.