BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) — Two rape cases with evidence that’s been sitting dormant since the 90s may now see justice. Prosecutors have indicted two suspects for sexual assault as they continue to chip away at the backlog of cases.
“We are going to be relentless, and they continue to be relentless every single day in this office,” said Bernalillo County District Attorney (DA) Sam Bregman. That is Bregman’s reaction to indictments in two new cold cases involving sexual assault kits collected around 30 years ago.
“With Mr. Martinez, he’s charged with two counts of the first-degree one of criminal sexual penetration, one of kidnapping back in 1997,” said Bregman.
Court records show in 2008, Alfonso Martinez pled guilty in a drug trafficking case where he served probation through mid-2019.
The second case, against Brian Rascon, dates back even further. He’s been charged with six counts of criminal sexual penetration from 1991.
In a pre-trial detention motion, prosecutors alleged Rascon is a “career criminal” who raped a woman while looking for drugs and money during a home invasion.
“The indictments speak for themselves. These are older cases, but we are very confident we have the person, we have charged the right person in both these cases, and we will hold them responsible and accountable under the rule of law for the full extent of the law,” said Bregman.
Bregman credits the sexual assault kit initiative or SAKI for helping bring these cases to a possible resolution.
“The prosecutors and the investigators that are dedicated to this every single day, full time. They look at these old cases, and they do everything they can to hold people accountable,” said Bregman.
Bregman said more cases are on the way.
“There are victims out there, and we want to make sure we do everything possible to bring them some small sense of justice,” said Bregman.
DA Bregman said last year, his office had around 1,000 backlogged sexual assault cases. He claimed that number is now down to around 300.