CONEJOS COUNTY — It is Safe2Tell and a Conejos County child did just that.
A teacher in the La Jara schools reported the confidential comments of a student to authorities, triggering the arrest of Francisco Andrade Jr., 26, Manassa, on four felony counts relating to sexual assault on a child.
He faces a charge of 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 4 Felony.
Conejos County Judge Kimberly Cortez advised Andrade Monday, Oct. 17 and refused a defense motion to lower a $100,000 cash only bond to $50,000 with a combination of cash and security as payment.
Cortez said the alleged circumstances gave her “pause” in granting the defense request, despite the latter’s contention that the claims against Andrade had not been proven.
A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 15.
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 various 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 mom, who was sleeping. Asking what the child needed, dad 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 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 everything was particularly alarming to him because Andrade was a caseworker for the Alamosa Department of Human Services (DHS) 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.
The child told Luczak that something was wrong because Andrade had a psychology degree and was “supposed to help kids, not hurt them.”
When asked why the teacher wasn’t told about the other times, the child declared love for Andrade and thought he would stop and not do it again.
The child did not want to see Andrade again.
A confirmed employee of the Alamosa County Department of Human Services, Andrade was placed on administrative leave when he was arrested.
He had been working for that agency since June 13, 2016, having graduated with a degree in psychology from Adams State University on May 13 of the same year. He was placed on administrative leave when the arrest took place.
His personally stated work history includes being a former manager at McDonald’s, former senior advisor at ASU Upward Bound and nursing student at Georgetown University.