HAGERMAN, N.M. (KRQE) – People in a small New Mexico town are shocked to learn that a private tutor in their neighborhood is now accused of sexually abusing two young girls; one of them is a student of his.
“Hagerman is like a peaceful town, nothing really goes on here. It’s very family-oriented,” said Erika Vargas, Hagerman resident.
An incident last month has neighbors shocked. According to a criminal complaint, 29-year-old Mark Heitz, was charged with raping two young girls.
It all started when a group of neighborhood kids were playing hide and seek.
A 9-year-old girl told police she was hiding in Heitz’s carport area when he came out and tried to take pictures under her skirt and that he then grabbed her, put his hands under her skirt and touched her.
She says she was able to get away and ran home screaming.
Police soon learned her 6-year-old friend may also have been victimized. In the complaint, that girl told police that Heitz was her after-school tutor.
She told police, “Mark does that to her every day and it hurts,” and that he takes pictures of her under her dress with his phone.
In an interview she said “Mark tried to go under my pants and I cried. I told Mark, ‘I don’t like that.'”
Vargas lives just down the road. She’s now wondering what else the tutor may have done.
“That really worries me especially because I have my nephews and they come here and they play,” she said.
Police did search Heitz’s cell phones and other electronic devices.
They say they found graphic pictures and videos of what appear to be young girls.
He hasn’t been charged with child porn yet.