Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Manuel Preciado facing new felony child abuse charges


January 20, 2015

Manuel Preciado

link Manuel Preciado

QCS Managing Editor

A former Tucumcari foster parent already facing five felony charges related to sexual contact with a minor has been charged with nine more felony counts of sexual penetration and contact of a minor, state police and Quay County Magistrate Court records show.

Manuel Preciado, 64, of Tucumcari, is now facing 14 felony counts based on evidence, including interviews, medical records and video recordings, that he molested two teenage boys placed in his care.

New Mexico State Police Patrolman Gerardo Hernandez arrested Preciado Tuesday evening, state police Lt. Herbert Hinders said. Preciado was booked into the Quay County Detention Center, where he remained Wednesday, subject to a $50,000 cash-only bond.

In addition to earlier charges, Preciado now faces

• six counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child 13 to 18 years of age, a second-degree felony (first-degree felonies are the most serious, fourth degree the least);

• one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor, acting from a position of authority over a victim 13 to 18 years old, a third-degree felony;

• one count of intimidation of a witness, a third-degree felony; and

• one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fourth degree felony.

According to court documents, On Jan. 8, state police interviewed the alleged victim, a 16-year-old boy, who said Preciado had committed sexual acts on him when the apparent victim was placed with Preciado in March 2013, and placed with Preciado again from March to August 2014.

One such incident resulted in a hospital stay for the apparent victim, according to state police statements in court documents.

Preciado would threaten the victim with witchcraft and reports that would get the boy into more trouble, court documents show.

In November 2014, Preciado was charged with five felony counts related to sexual contact of another victim after Preciado’s employer, Turqoise Health and Wellness, reported allegations against Preciado to state police. At that time, he was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual contact of a minor, abuse of a child, false imprisonment and enticement of a child, according to a state police press release.

The Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) said that at the time of the Nov. 3 report, all children placed with Preciado were removed from his home and placed with other foster care providers, according to the state police press release. Preciado was booked into the Quay County Detention Center on Nov. 23. He was released on Dec. 4 after posting bond, court records show.

The case was sent to Tenth Judicial District Court on Dec. 23.


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