Rape case in DA's hands

Family frustrated by slow process; charges still pending

More than four months after two children told police that they were raped at a Cortez motel, the mother of one of the children is wondering why the case remains in limbo.

The Cortez Police Department investigated the case and forwarded its findings to the district attorney's office.

District Attorney Will Furse on Friday said his office has received the case and decisions will be made based on the investigation.

The end result could be that the DA's office will not proceed with charges or prosecution. Furse said all cases go through the natural progression of being investigated with decisions on possible charges and prosecution to follow.

The mother of the 13-year-old girl said her daughter was raped at the National 9 Inn Sand Canyon Motel at Main and Linden streets in the second week of October. The mother has since moved with her daughter to Las Vegas, Nev. after concerns that the prime suspect remained free and was harassing her daughter.

Police were told that the man also raped a 10-year-old girl in the same motel room that was rented by another man. The mother is frustrated that the case is still in limbo and believes that her Native American race may have been a factor on why nothing has been decided in more than four months.

When police were notified of the alleged rape on the day it occurred, the mother said no one was even arrested.

"The two suspects are still free," she said.

Before moving to Nevada from Towaoc, the mother said that the suspect continued to harass her daughter but told his family the daughter was the one who was harassing him.

"We moved to get away from him," she said. "I have been trying to wait for calls (from the DA's office)."

The police department, she said, told her information has been sent to the DA's office for its review, but she has not been contacted.

The DA's office, citing an ongoing investigation, has refused to release the police report of the incident.

The mother said her daughter, who is now enrolled in a private school in Nevada, had a flashback a few days ago to the incident and cried the entire day.

"It's hard for her and me to deal with this," she said.

The mother's sister and aunt to the teen, who still lives in the county, said she is also frustrated and does not understand why nothing has been done.

"My sister wants justice, but she's not getting it," she said. "It seems like the (authorities) aren't doing anything, They already have all the evidence they need."

The sister said police took photographs of the alleged crime scene and confiscated bed sheets from the hotel room.

Furse didn't say when a possible decision would be made on the case.

michaelmaresh@cortezjournal.com