Convicted sex offender accused of rape

A convicted sex offender was arrested Thursday on allegations he picked up an intoxicated woman on North Avenue, took her back to his home and raped her.

Richard Junior Valdez, 24, 2814 Hall Ave., was advised Friday he could be charged with first-degree sexual assault. Mesa County Judge Bruce Raaum ordered him held on $75,000 bond.

Public defender Andrew Ho told Raaum that Valdez lives with his mother and brother and that his girlfriend is four months pregnant.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Brown said Valdez is on probation for a misdemeanor conviction.

Grand Junction police were called to the area of 28 1/4 and Patterson roads at 4:45 a.m. Thursday for a welfare check. They found and took to the hospital a 21-year-old woman who said she had been sexually assaulted by an unknown man, according to an arrest affidavit.

The woman told officers she and her baby’s father went to the Brass Rail on 28 Road on Wednesday night to celebrate the father’s birthday. She said she became very intoxicated at the bar and tried to walk home but had to be carried because she was too drunk, the affidavit said.

The woman later left her apartment to look for the father, who had gone to look for her cell phone, but she got lost, the affidavit said.

She said she was walking down North Avenue near Kmart when a man approached her and asked if she needed a ride home. She began walking with the man and said he told her his name was “Junior” and that he wasn’t a murderer and wouldn’t kill her, the affidavit said.

The woman said they arrived at his home, and he asked her if she wanted a glass of water. The next thing she remembered was the man getting on top of her in his bedroom and having sex with her. She said she tried to push him off of her, but he pinned her arms down and continued to assault her, the affidavit said.

She said she grabbed her clothes and ran out of the house when the man got off her, and he had asked her if she wanted a cigarette and stepped onto a balcony outside the house, the affidavit said.

Nurses examined the woman and told police they found genital injuries.

Police searched a law-enforcement database for men matching the description provided by Adams. Officers came across Valdez, whose address was less than a half-mile from the intersection of 28 1/4 Road and Texas Avenue, where the woman said she remembered running at one point, the affidavit said.

Police noted in the affidavit that Valdez was convicted of third-degree sexual assault and indecent exposure in 2001 and is required to register as a sex offender.

Police said the woman picked Valdez out of a photo lineup they showed her.

Prosecutors are expected to file charges Thursday.


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