Pecos High School coach arrested for sexual exploitation of a child

Crime

PECOS, N.M. (KRQE)- Another New Mexico coach has been arrested after police say he sent nude photos of himself to four teenage girls, then blackmailed them to give him what he wanted.

This investigation started last month after a 14-year old girl from Pecos High School says the boys basketball coach threatened to expose her if she didn’t continue to send him nude photos of herself. That’s when she went to the district to report him.

Just last March, the boys basketball team at Pecos High School was celebrating a state championship for the third year in a row. During that time, New Mexico State Police says Coach Josh Rico was hiding a big secret.

“A 14-year old juvenile female disclosed she had been sexually communicating via cell phone with the Snapchat app, with a male identified as Joshua G. Rico,” says Officer Dusty Francisco.

During a State Police investigation, detectives found more alleged victims.

“Agents found numerous nude photos and videos of the 14-year old female, himself, and three other juvenile females,” says Ofc. Francisco.

On top fo that, police say Rico threatened to expose each girl on social media if they didn’t listen to him. He even used a different alias on Snapchat to hide his identity.

“The three female victims were also sexually victimized by Rico in the same manner as the 14-year old female,” says Ofc. Francisco.

According to the criminal complaint, Rico also forced himself onto one of the victims and bought another one alcohol. Police believe Rico had been sexually abusing minors as far back as 2013.

State Police arrested Rico on Valentine’s Day and booked him into the San Miguel County Detention Center.

Rico also played on the Pecos High School basketball team when he was a student there. He graduated in 2014.

KRQE News 13 tried calling the school and district for comment, but did not hear back.

Rico is the second coach from Pecos in recent years to face these types of charges. Dominick Baca was an assistant boys’ basketball coach at Pecos High when he was arrested in 2018 for sexually abusing two students.

He pleaded guilty in November to rape and criminal sexual contact of a minor.

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