Attorneys for an unnamed Sandoval County man allegedly raped by former Española mayor Richard Lucero characterized Lucero’s motion to dismiss the civil case against him as insensitive and legally insufficient.
Lucero and co-defendants Country Farm Supply and Sacred Heart Española asked Dec. 9 that the court toss the tort claim because the alleged victim was not named, the range of possible dates of the late 1960s and early 1970s abuse was too broad, and the suit exceeded the statute of limitations.
In their Dec. 24 response, the plaintiff’s attorneys from the firm Rothstein Donatelli bashed the defense’s claim that the alleged victim’s risk of embarrassment was not enough to justify his use of a pseudonym in the case.
“Defendants grossly minimize the highly sensitive and personal nature of the abuse at hand by suggesting that Plaintiff ‘may suffer some embarrassment,’” they wrote. “That statement does not reflect an understanding of the intense cultural pressure within our communities.”
In a separate filing, Sacred Heart Española distanced itself from the former mayor and operator of Country Farm Supply, denying that Lucero ever operated a youth group under the church’s supervision or acted as an agent of the church.
The original October complaint claimed the victim met Lucero through Lucero’s role as a leader in the Camp Zia Boy Scouts program and joined Lucero’s scouting youth group that operated under the wing of Sacred Heart Española. It alleged the group worked under priests, met at the church and performed community service for the church.
A July 2019 complaint accused Lucero of raping another underage boy decades ago under similar circumstances.
Lucero previously told a Rio Grande SUN reporter he never committed sexual abuse.
In civil child sexual abuse cases, victims have until their 24th birthday or three years from the date they first tell a medical or mental health professional about the abuse, whichever is most recent, to claim damages.
The complaint stated the alleged victim was only now beginning to understand the full psychological impact of the abuse, but did not specify when or if the abuse was disclosed to a professional.
The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the expiration of a statute of limitations must be proved by the defense, and that they had no legal obligation to affirmatively prove they were within the statute of limitations.
They said the defense’s claims that it was impossible to effectively respond without the plaintiff’s name were not applicable to a motion to dismiss, as they had already offered to provide his name and information confidentially if the court granted a motion allowing it.
Court records show no response to the complaint from co-defendants Boy Scouts of America and Monastery of Christ in the Desert, though the Boy Scouts denied liability and broadly condemned pedophilia in their response to the July complaint, in which they were Lucero’s sole co-defendant.