ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The former Albuquerque Police Department officer who resigned amid an investigation into his communications with a 13-year-old girl, has been arrested. New Mexico state police arrested 27-year-old Joshua DeLeon, over allegations he solicited a 13-year-old girl he met when responding to a call for service.
An officer with the department since August 2020, now Josh DeLeon has traded his blue police uniform for an orange jumpsuit. Friday, he was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.
It began in February of this year when DeLeon, then a patrol officer with APD, responded to a couple of calls involving a girl threatening to commit suicide because of bullying at school. After the girl was treated and released from the University of New Mexico Hospital, the texting began.
Investigators from DeLeon’s own department say he began reaching out to the girl, asking her how she was doing. According to transcripts of those texts in the criminal complaint, he told her if she needed anyone to talk to, he was there for her. Then the conversation shifts, with DeLeon offering to take the girl to get snacks or for a ride.
Later, the transcripts show DeLeon telling her he likes her, asking her if she would like to quote ‘see where things go’, the girl telling him she’s never had a relationship or kissed anyone, and DeLeon asking her to keep them a secret. The complaint shows the conversations turning even more explicit, with DeLeon trying to get the 13-year-old to stay the night with him, to kiss and do quote ‘whatever else the night brings.’
APD launched its investigation after the girl came forward, telling a case worker that DeLeon had tried to kiss her… and she had stopped him.
Friday, New Mexico state police arrested DeLeon at his northwest Albuquerque home, just one block away from LBJ middle school. He was taken in without incident.
Deleon was removed from field duty on March 9 after the allegations surfaced. He resigned from APD on March 31 following the launch of the investigation and is now charged with child solicitation.
Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina sent News 13 this statement:
“These allegations portray a police officer who engaged in a predatory effort to lure a 13-year-old girl into a secret relationship with him. This kind of behavior is beyond disturbing, and it is a disservice to the department and our profession. I am disgusted by the fact that an officer would prey on a child who was experiencing a crisis, and relied on him for help during that crisis.
We relieved the officer from duty and immediately started a criminal investigation when we learned of the allegations. I appreciate the detectives who worked on this troubling case, and the Attorney General’s Office for moving forward with the prosecution.
While this case is adjudicated in the courts, we will change APD policies to make it clear we will not tolerate inappropriate contact between officers and citizens they encounter during calls for service.”Chief Harold Medina, Albquerque Police Department