Repeat offender accused of sexually assaulting UNM campus staffer

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Terrifying moments on the University of New Mexico campus; a UNM staffer was sexually assaulted in her own office and the suspect is no stranger to police. 


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Michael Todd, 31, has been arrested several times before but is released by a judge almost every time. Todd was already banned from campus before Monday’s alleged incident. It’s another mark on his long criminal record.

“Other charges are from criminal trespassing, resisting and evading police officers, criminal damage to property, breaking out windows whether it’s a personal vehicle window or building windows and I believe he’s been charged for even graffiti,” said Lt. Larry Bitsoih, with the UNM Police Department.

Police said Monday’s incident was more violent than his previous crimes. They said he walked into the female employee’s office where she was working alone, grabbed her and threw her on the ground. Todd is then accused of groping her and refusing to let her leave. It wasn’t until a co-worker heard screaming and opened the door, that the woman ran out and called police.

Police said his criminal activity doesn’t just stay on campus, Todd is also accused of burglary, car theft, and indecent exposure around the metro.

So why is he always let back out on the streets? A spokesperson with the District Attorney’s Office said they filed a motion to detain Todd in 2019. The motion was granted, but a district court judge found Todd to be incompetent and dismissed the case. They filed another motion to hold Todd for “dangerousness,” but that was also denied.

“I think that’s a bit concerning to just – how they just let him go that quickly,” said Isabl Gallardo, a UNM student. “And he could just come back at any point. But hopefully not.” 

The DA’s Office has since filed new motions to revoke Todd’s conditions of release. They said this case highlights the problem of defendants like Todd, who are found incompetent, but not dangerous enough to detain.

Police said when Todd was arrested Monday he told them “It was just a sexual assault, I didn’t kill her even though I have a license to kill.”

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