Former Española mayor Richard Lucero faces a new lawsuit alleging he repeatedly drugged and raped a second underage boy, whose account of a pattern of grooming and abuse bears stark similarities to another plaintiff who sued Lucero in July.
The new Oct. 23 criminal complaint names Country Farm Supply, which Lucero owns, Boy Scouts of America, Sacred Heart Española, and Monastery of Christ in the Desert as additional defendants due to Lucero’s leadership roles in the organizations at the time of the alleged abuse decades ago.
The anonymous plaintiff, a Sandoval County resident, claims he met Lucero through the Boy Scouts—also named as a defendant in the previous suit—in the late 1960s at Camp Zia, where Lucero was a camp leader, and later joined Lucero’s scouting youth group which operated under the wing of Sacred Heart, and engaged in considerable activities with the Monastery.
The plaintiff was allegedly recruited to provide services for Country Farm Supply as a minor.
The first known rape allegedly occurred when Lucero took the plaintiff on a trip to Colorado. The filing states Lucero gave the plaintiff a beverage and proceeded to violently rape him when he passed out, though the plaintiff did not realize what occurred when he woke up afterward at the time, feeling scared, confused and in pain.
Still a member of the youth group, the plaintiff was later allegedly drugged and raped by Lucero again in a similar manner on a trip to Roswell.
The filing states the plaintiff began to have nightmares about something being inside of him at this time.
The final specified rape allegedly occurred on a trip to Amarillo, Texas with two other boys. The suit states after the three boys returned from a bar and went to bed, the other two highly-intoxicated but the plaintiff mostly sober, the plaintiff awoke to find Lucero on top of him. Lucero allegedly raped the plaintiff, who blacked out from the pain.
The first plaintiff who sued in July was also a Boy Scout, and his mother worked at Country Farm Supply at the time of his alleged assaults by Lucero in the late 1980s and early 1990s. One of the alleged rapes also occurred on a trip to Amarillo.
Lucero acted as mayor sporadically from 1968 to 2006 for a total of 22 years.
The newest complaint alleges Boy Scout and Church officials knew that Lucero was a sexual predator and that a minor boy at a social gathering once wept for protection from Lucero, begging others not to let Lucero take him alone.
The filing, made through Rothstein Donatelli LLP, states the plaintiff is only just realizing the nature and impact of the abuse.
It alleges Lucero committed a series of assaults and batteries and raises counts of negligence and vicarious liability against the four other dependents.
“The other Defendants knew, or should have known, of Defendant Lucero’s specific danger to children,” the filing states.
It also raises a charge of intentional infliction of emotional distress against all defendants.
The plaintiff seeks unspecified incidental, consequential, and special damages, compensatory damages, legal fees, and punitive damages.
Lucero could not be reached for comment by press time but in July denied the previous accusations.
Robert Gorence, an attorney for Lucero, criticized the decision to submit the newest complaint anonymously and without specific time frames for the allegations, and said the complaints would be rendered invalid by statutes of limitations.
He said that while he could not speak to this particular plaintiff’s motives due to his anonymity, such cases are usually prompted by the same thing.
“Mr. Lucero never inappropriately touched or engaged in any sexual act with any child,” Gorence said. “If someone has a false accusation, in my experience, usually it’s driven by money.”
He said Lucero has not yet been served with the complaint.
Paul Linnenburger, an attorney for the plaintiff, said his client opted for anonymity largely due to stigma for men who experienced this kind of sexual abuse.
“Particularly in communities in Northern New Mexico, you’re dealing with a population that has been victimized and that carries a particular stigma,” he said.
He said the dozens of recent accusations against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which would have been named as a defendant had it not recently filed for bankruptcy protections, empowered his client to speak up.
“At the end of the day, it’s a lot more about holding the people and entities that hold a lot more sway over us as a community and are held in higher esteem culturally—that when they use that to target and abuse children—it is important to hold them accountable,” he said. “To my client’s credit, this is his attempt to stand up and put his foot down and do what he can to say, ‘This ends here.’”