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Farmington substitute teacher arrested on sex charges

Nunez accused of child sex crimes while working at Hermosa Middle School
Jose Angel Nunez, 29, was arrested on suspicion of child sexual assault, while working as a substitute teacher for Farmington Municipal Schools.

A Farmington Municipal Schools substitute teacher has been charged with child sexual assaults that reportedly happened at Hermosa Middle School, according to the Farmington Police Department.

Jose Angel Nunez, 29, was arrested May 22 on two third-degree felony charges of criminal sexual contact of a minor under the age of 13.

The charges are in connection with two incidents at the school involving Nunez. The incidents were disclosed to the social worker by two female students, whose grade and ages are not provided in the arrest affidavit.

The girls first made the allegations to the school’s social worker, who notified police.

“As soon as Farmington Municipal Schools learned about the situation, we followed our procedures and immediately contacted the police department,” said FMS spokesman Robert Taboada. “The substitute teacher has been placed on leave until the legal process is complete.”

The first female child disclosed that Nunez, whom the students called “Mr. J,” had subbed and asked for her Snapchat account. She replied that she didn’t have one.

This same child stated that on May 10, she was working on math and “got stuck on a problem and raised her hand for help. Mr. J went over to assist her and grabbed her folder,” the affidavit says.

The child alleged that while Nunez was standing behind her, he “placed his left arm around her and grabbed her.” She further stated that he moved his hand down and placed it on her breast and “let his hand rest onto her breast over her clothing,” the affidavit states.

The child disclosed that “she felt uncomfortable,” so she got up from her desk “grabbed a tissue threw it into the trash,” but Nunez reportedly approached again, so “she asked to use the restroom” and left the classroom.

When the child returned, she was not approached by the teacher again.

The second child stated she was in math class completing a worksheet involving triangles. When she needed help, she reportedly approached the desk, where Nunez was standing. The student and him were “side by side,” the child stated, he put his left arm around her and placed his left hand on her breast, according to the affidavit for arrest warrant.

The child said “she grabbed his wrist to shove his hand away,” and then “used her right shoulder to push off him and walk away,” the affidavit says.

The child said it made her feel “uncomfortable, weird and she did not know what to do,” and that “this had not happened before,” the affidavit says.

The two girls also made the allegation that Nunez “constantly sits on students’ desks during class,” according to the affidavit.

In addition to answering questions at the school, both girls took part in forensic interviews on May 20 at Childhaven. Police report the interviews were consistent with the first allegations made to police on May 17.

Farmington Police also stated in the affidavit that Farmington Municipal Schools HR Director Chris Pash was made aware of the incident and provided contact information for Nunez to the police, assisting in the investigation.

Police contacted Nunez by telephone, and his mother, Dannette Benhamimed, reportedly answered and stated that “they were made aware of the accusations,” and “they were told not to answer any questions, and would plead the fifth amendment,” the affidavit states.

Nunez appeared in court Thursday, and Albuquerque criminal defense attorney Alexandra Jones entered her appearance in the case.

Jones also entered a demand for discovery requesting the state “produce for inspection and copying any records, papers, documents or other tangible evidence in its possession,” and she demanded “a speedy trial,” court records state.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. June 5 in Magistrate Erich Cole’s courtroom.