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Indictment: Police chief sexually assaulted woman after traffic stop

Created: 08/07/2014 9:48 PM
By: KOB Eyewitness News 4 Staff

A former New Mexico police chief is indicted, and hours later, arrested on rape charges.

State police say Shane Harger, former Jemez Springs police chief, kidnapped and then sexually assaulted a 19-year-old girl after a traffic stop.

Then, according to state police, he threatened to throw her into jail.  

KOB obtained a copy of the indictment and was there as state police walked Harger into booking. The indictment lists serious criminal charges against the former police chief.

After a state police investigation, a grand jury decided Harger should face charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and extortion.

"Did you threaten to invent charges--make up a crime--if she reported the sexual assault?" asked KOB reporter Caleb James as Harger arrived at state police Albuquerque headquarters.

Harger was quiet and unshaven, hiding his face with a baseball cap, as state police walked him into an Albuquerque field office after his arrest late Thursday afternoon.

"If your rights are being violated, you need to stand up for your rights," Harger said during an interview with KOB on an unrelated matter in January 2014.

In that interview, Harger defended himself after another controversy: He was stopped by TSA agents at the Albuquerque Sunport for having travel documents with two different names.

After backlash from the incident, Jemez Springs police fired him.

This time, Harger's troubles are much bigger.

"It was determined the chief sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman," state police Sgt. Damyan Brown said.

According to state police and the grand jury indictment, Harger pulled over a car with three men and one woman in January near Jemez Springs.      

He took the girl back to an office where investigators say he forcefully penetrated her with his finger while armed with a deadly weapon.    

Afterward, the indictment says he threatened to accuse her of a crime.

KOB also obtained the arrest warrant issued for Harger on Thursday.

Only hours after it was filed with Sandoval County courts, Harger was taken into custody during a traffic stop in Edgewood.

Since being fired from Jemez Springs police, Harger has been doing construction work in the Albuquerque area.He told a KOB reporter he'd had it with police work.

Harger is being held on $150,000 bond.

No one answered calls to the Jemez Springs Police Department Thursday.


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