Girl sexually assaulted at teen party sues host’s parents

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A New Mexico couple is being sued for letting their teenage son throw a party.

The family of a girl left traumatized after a teen party is suing the parents who not only let their son throw the party, but were there, too.    

The lawsuit filed in January states Bobby Tapia, of Moriarty, threw an out-of-control party for minors at his home on Nov. 17, 2013. A test confirmed one girl was sexually assaulted.

Years later, it’s Tapia’s parents, Jeff and Kelli Tapia, who are getting slapped with a lawsuit for letting the party happen.

“His parents were providing a venue in their home for alcohol to be served to children,” attorney Rachel Higgins said.

Higgins said the two were negligent and let their son have the party and serve alcohol to other kids. 

The lawsuit claims the parents were in and out of the party through the course of the night.

The victim passed out drunk, where her lawyer said at least two teens raped her before she was left unconscious in her car.

“Obviously what happened to my client is maybe the second to worst case scenario,” Higgins said.

Tapia was charged with rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was convicted in 2016 of attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor — a lesser charge — and is now a registered sex offender.

Higgins said it’s a reminder for parents in any situation that they’re liable for their kids’ actions.

“Once we open up our homes to other people and start serving alcohol, then we have to be reasonable,” Higgins said.

During interviews with witnesses, investigators determined the Tapias were in the detached garage for most of the night having another gathering with friends, but that they would enter the home throughout the night.

According to court documents in the criminal case, party-goers told investigators at least two other teens raped the girl, but KRQE News 13 could only find Tapia charged in the case.

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