LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico student who claims she was sexually assaulted repeatedly by a school employee is now suing the West Las Vegas School District for negligence and alleges the Las Vegas Police Department missed routine investigation practices.
“Our goal through the lawsuit is for the school district and law enforcement to reform their conduct and improve safety policies to prevent another child from suffering similar child abuse,” Attorney Julio Romero stated.
The lawsuit filed in mid-April alleges that West Las Vegas Middle School security guard, Abran Paul Ulibarri, back in 2019 used “his position of authority” to meet with the then-8th grader in his office when she was upset. It states they’d have inappropriate text conversations and that led to multiple instances of reported sexual abuse during school hours.
New Mexico’s Attorney General filed charges against 52-year-old Ulibarri back in January, but the lawsuit details the long process of getting to that point.
The allegations were reported to Las Vegas police in May 2019. The lawsuit states LVPD never got a search warrant to inspect Ulibarri’s cell phone and claimed the girl’s phone contained no evidence.
The case was transferred to the AG’s office in March 2020. They recovered the inappropriate texts on the student’s phone and also got a search warrant for Ulibarri’s phone records.
“Our community needs to accept that child sexual abuse is a basic problem that requires vigilance of educators and law enforcement to hold sexual abusers accountable rather than sweeping it under the rug,” Romero added.
Las Vegas Police Chief Adrian Crespin, who was not the chief at the time of this incident, said he believes the sergeant and detective on this case did everything they could while handling homicides and other cases in the city. He claims there’s documentation that they did try to extract the texts from the girl’s phone, but that their system isn’t very advanced.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the school district for a comment on the lawsuit but did not hear back.
In a statement, the AG’s office said “local school districts and law enforcement must improve timely reporting and investigation of allegations of child abuse.”
Ulibarri is facing more than a dozen counts, including child rape and false imprisonment. His jury trial is set for mid-September.