Las Cruces man charged in sexual assault of young girl

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - Las Cruces arrested and charged 30-year-old Rodrigo Rodriguez in a sexual assault case that also landed his mother-in-law behind bars last month.

According to court documents, the alleged victim came forward to the 'KidTalk' hotline operated by La Piñon in early June. The hotline offers children a safe place to report bullying, physical or sexual abuse.

Investigators initially attempted to follow up with the alleged victim's mother, Marisela Valenzuela-Guevara, but she allegedly dodged investigators on several occasions and attempted to coerce the girl into changing her story in order to protect Rodriguez.

Valenzuela-Guevara called him a "very good man and a good provider" to her older daughter and grandson and told investigators that the alleged assault "only happened once."

According to the girl, Rodriguez, who is her sister's husband, had molested her a year earlier.

Initially, LCPD charged the alleged victim's mother with obstruction and intimidation charges, but did not arrest Rodriguez for the alleged crime. On Thursday, police arrested and charged him with Sexual Assault. He is being held in the Doña Ana County Detention Center on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

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