ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A jail guard accused of raping inmates will cost Bernalillo County $2 million. The county will pay three women, including one who says Enock Arvizo raped her in a courthouse elevator.
KRQE News 13’s special assignment featured Arvizo last year and all the red flags the jail had on him before he was accused of committing these rapes.
Now, the county will pay the three women a combined $2.1 million. One of his supervisors at the Metro Detention Center told him months before he was accused of the courthouse rape, that he shouldn’t be transporting female inmates alone because he was suspected of hitting on them in the past.
The jail even fired him years earlier after he admitted to having sex with an inmate out on house arrest, which is considered rape because of his position of authority over her. Arvizo was rehired after the jail director decided he “showed remorse.”
One of the victim’s attorneys summed up their case against the jail and the county.
“He’s the fox in the henhouse for the last seven years. And it looks like he’s continued doing it,” said Nicole Moss.
KRQE News 13 reached out to MDC Tuesday for comment on the settlement. They said once the information came to their attention about Arvizo, they followed all procedures as outlined in their policy, as well as in conjunction with the law enforcement’s criminal investigation.
MDC also said they implemented more stringent hiring practices three years ago, including testing on the front end, along with a longer academy.
They also said if an inmate is suspected of breaking the law, it is immediately turned over to law enforcement for possible criminal charges.
The jail has had a long history of problems with guards attacking inmates, raping them, and smuggling drugs for them. Jail officials insist they’ve tightened up their hiring policies.
This is a civil settlement and Enock Arvizo’s criminal trial for rape charges is set up for next summer.