Santa Fe police have arrested a former coach and foster parent accused of raping and molesting at least three young females over the past three decades, beginning in 1979.
Sevedeo Lujan, 52, of Santa Fe was arrested Thursday after an 11-year-old Santa Fe girl reported July 15 that Lujan had sexually assaulted her in 2011.
Five other females, who are now adults, have come forward during the course of the investigation to say they also were sexually assaulted, according to Santa Fe Police Department Sgt. Andrea Dobyns. Dobyns said police are trying to determine if there are other possible victims, given the fact that Lujan worked extensively with children over the past 30 years.
“This is a very big case and we do expect it’s going to get bigger,” Dobyns said.
Lujan is being held at the Santa Fe County jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond on two charges charge of criminal sexual penetration of a minor (one a first-degree felony and the other a second-degree felony) and a third-degree felony charge of criminal sexual contact with a minor in connection with his alleged victimization of the 11-year-old and another female, now an adult, who claims he abused her sexually over a number of years when she was between the ages of 6 and 13.
Dobyns said New Mexico State Police are investigating the complaint of a third victim — who is now 20 years old — because the alleged abuse in that case took place in San Miguel County. Dobyns said three other females who have also alleged that Lujan abused them have not yet been interviewed.
Dobyns said Lujan confirmed to police when he was arrested at his Santa Fe home Thursday that he had committed the alleged acts for which he is currently incarcerated.
Children Youth and Families Department spokesman Henry Varela confirmed Monday that Lujan was licensed as a foster parent for a one-year period from 2004 to 2005, and fostered six children during that year. Varela said he couldn’t provide the ages or sex of those foster children, or provide any information about whether those children had reported any sexual abuse.
Varela said the department does criminal background checks at the federal, state and local level when interviewing prospective foster parents, and nothing in Lujan’s record at the time indicated that Lujan should not be a foster parent.
According to online court records, Lujan has been charged twice with drunken driving, once in 1997 and once in 2012.
Dobyns said none of the alleged victims Lujan is accused of abusing were his foster children, but she said one of the children Lujan fostered did report being sexually abused by someone else — “not by him” — while living with Lujan, who was married at the time he was serving as a foster parent.
According to police, Lujan coached a youth football league in Pecos — where he used to live — and youth basketball in Santa Fe.
Ruben Lovato, president of the Santa Fe Young American Football League, said Lujan coached in Pecos about a decade ago. Newspaper accounts list Lujan as the coach for the Pecos Texans as recently as 2006. But Lovato said the Pecos league is no longer affiliated with the Santa Fe group and Lovato said he “hardly” remembers Lujan.
Contact Phaedra Haywood at 986-3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.