Police: Las Cruces man raped runaway teen after helping her hide from police
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KFOX14) —
Police arrested a Las Cruces man accused of sexually assaulting a teen who ran away from home.
The incident happened Nov. 3 when a 14-year-old girl got into an argument with a relative and ran away from home sometime that night, police said.
The girl tried to hide from family and a police officer, and she hid behind a trailer on the 900 block of East Madrid Avenue, police said.
Johnny Christopher Wilson Lopez, 34, saw the girl hide and told the police officer that the runaway jumped a fence and left the area, police said.
Lopez helped the girl hide by pushing her under his mobile home, police said.
After some time passed, Lopez gave the girl a cigarette, a bottle of water, a sandwich and cookies, according to court documents.
A neighbor said the way Lopez approached the girl is concerning.
“He was trying to make her feel like she was safe and in reality she wasn’t.” To me, he got her where he knew he could, with the food and the cookies and the water. He tried to make her feel safe and that’s the scariest part about it,” the neighbor said.
The girl later told police in an interview that Lopez took her inside his home and into a room. He pulled out a glass pipe from a drawer and offered it to the teen before smoking it but she refused, according to court documents.
The man then grabbed a blunt and the two smoked weed in the room, the documents said.
The girl tried to leave, but the man grabbed her and threw her on the bed, the documents said.
Lopez began to rape the girl and pulled out a gun, but stopped once the phone rang, the documents said.
The man put down the gun, answered the phone, and then told the girl she had to go to the shed, the documents said.
Lopez later took the girl to a shed on his property and closed the door, and when the girl saw Lopez leave, she ran out and found a police officer, police said.
When the girl returned home, she told a relative what happened, police said.
Another neighbor hopes that Lopez stays away from the neighborhood if the claims are true.
“I just hope they don’t let him out for a long time. These pedophiles, these SOBs should be locked up forever.”
Lopez was arrested Friday night and faces charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration of a minor, criminal sexual contact of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.