LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – A former Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been arrested for inappropriately touching two female family members. The molestation allegedly took place while he was a deputy.
Los Alamos Police say they arrested Dustin Bingham, 36, on Wednesday, May 3, during a traffic stop on a warrant for eight counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Bingham is accused of fondling two female relatives.
Bingham lived with the two girls and their family for several months in late 2015 through early 2016, sleeping in the same room as one of them. He then babysat the girls many times after. The time frame of all the allegations is Nov. 2015 to April 2017.
According to the affidavit, the girls told Bingham’s father what Bingham did. He then confronted Bingham. During that interaction, Bingham reportedly said, “Dad, I’m guilty.”
Dad told police the family initially considered dealing with the issue within their Mormon church, but for whatever reason, they ended up going to the Los Alamos Police Department instead on Wednesday, May 3.
While dad talked with LAPD officers, he called Bingham and put the call on speakerphone. Police recorded it.
During the call, Bingham admitted to touching the girls’ breasts and said he “needed help.” At that point, his arrest warrant was drafted.
“We are looking into any other potential victims and if there are, we would encourage them to contact the Los Alamos Police Department,” LAPD Cmdr. Oliver Morris said.
KRQE News 13 reached out Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia who said there were no red flags when he hired Bingham back in April 2015.
Bingham had previously worked for the Los Alamos Police Department as a detention officer. It’s unknown why he left that position.
“You depend on law enforcement to do those kinds of investigations, but when it comes up that one of your own is being accused or alleged to have done something inappropriate, it’s very disturbing,” Sheriff Garcia said.
Sheriff Garcia said he actually knew of the allegations as early as January, when he was contacted by the girls’ family.
Sheriff Garcia says he launched an internal affairs investigation into the matter and called New Mexico State Police for an outside investigation.
During the internal affairs investigation in February, Bingham resigned.
KRQE News 13 reached out to NMSP to determine what happened to their investigation into Bingham, and was told the case is pending review at the District Attorney’s Office.