Española superintendent placed on leave after being named in lawsuit for Pecos school district

Crime

PECOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Española Schools Superintendent Fred Trujillo has been placed on leave after being named in a lawsuit related to a job he held at another school district. In 2020, Joshua Rico was accused of sexually abusing students while he was a basketball coach at Pecos High.

Former Pecos High basketball coach Dominick Baca also pled guilty to having relationships with minors. Now, a federal lawsuit alleges this pattern of behavior dates back to 2013 and that the district failed to properly investigate complaints. Named in the complaint is then Pecos Superintendent Fred Trujillo.

Trujillo is now the superintendent at Española Public Schools. “I am not going to comment on whether it’s appropriate that they were hired, but it’s definitely concerning,” said Leigh Messerer, Associate Attorney of the Hemphill Firm.

On Thursday night during a school board meeting, Trujillo was placed on paid leave while the board finds an investigator to look into Trujillo’s conduct as Pecos’ superintendent.

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