A Rio Arriba County man is facing more than 100 years in prison after a jury in Tierra Amarilla found him guilty Wednesday of multiple counts of child rape and sexual assault.
Jurors convicted Andrew Sandoval, 38, of three first-degree counts of raping a child under 13, two counts of raping a child between 13 and 18, and three counts of criminal sexual contact with a child under 13. He also was found guilty of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
State District Judge Jason Lidyard ordered Sandoval to undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation before his sentencing hearing, which has not been set.
Española police arrested Sandoval in March 2019 at his home on Calle Rodriguez after breaking up a party where teenagers were “running in all directions” and “there was a heavy odor of alcohol and marijuana coming from inside,” according to a criminal complaint. A neighbor told police there had been several teenagers consuming alcohol at the home on a weekly basis before the arrest, court records said.
Sandoval initially was charged with 22 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and resisting arrest. He pleaded guilty to the charge of resisting arrest in November 2019 as part of a plea deal with the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Under the agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss all the other charges and Sandoval was sentenced to 186 days in jail, time he already had served.
While the case was pending, the New Mexico children, Youth and Families Department opened an investigation into the well-being of Sandoval’s own children — ages 12 and 17 — and allegations he had provided alcohol and drugs to minors at the party, an arrest warrant affidavit said.
According to court records, the investigation found two other children who regularly spent time at Sandoval’s home, and one of them was shown in a video on social media rubbing frosting on Sandoval’s nude body.
The girl told investigators Sandoval had touched her breasts and buttocks more times than she could count and had purchased alcohol and marijuana for her and other kids, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
At times, the girl said, he had gotten her and another person so intoxicated they had thrown up and forgotten a portion of the night.
The girl said Sandoval and his 18-year-old girlfriend had sex in front of minors on multiple occasions, according to the affidavit, and had purchased her gifts such as an iPhone, clothes, shoes and perfume. Children also told investigators Sandoval had threatened some of the boys at his home, the affidavit said.
Prosecutors charged Sandoval with eight counts of sexual contract with a child, six counts of raping a child, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count each of child solicitation, enticement of a child and tampering with evidence.
A criminal complaint indicates the charges all involved one child and were tied to allegations of incidents that occurred between January and March 2019.
Sandoval’s attorney, John Ronald Boyd, confirmed his client was convicted of 14 of the charges against him and that six counts had been dismissed before the trial. Boyd declined to comment further on the case. District Attorney Marco Serna did not respond to a request for comment.