Former Rio Rancho janitor allegedly sexually assaulted girls

Updated: 09/02/2014 10:33 PM | Created: 09/02/2014 5:39 PM
By: Blair Miller,

RIO RANCHO -- A Rio Rancho man who was a former janitor at Rio Rancho Public Schools has been charged with 16 counts of rape. He was first arrested July 16, and was fired by the school district August 1 after working there since September 1997.

According to court records, the rapes date back to 1992, and multiple counts allege the rape of a child under the age of 13.

Rio Rancho police say Gary Briceno originally denied all allegations against him, but after he was given a polygraph test, he confessed to the crimes.

Police also said there were several victims over a decade that ranged from ages 6-16. According to police, the rapes occurred at different locations and in different cities, and were not limited to the city of Rio Rancho or Rio Rancho High School.

Rio Rancho Public Schools spokesperson Kim Vesely said the district conducted an internal investigation, and became aware of allegations against Briceno.

Briceno was indicted by a grand jury August 1.

Briceno's arraignment is scheduled for September 8 in Sandoval County. He remains in the Sandoval County jail for the time being.

Update: The principal of Rio Rancho High School sent this letter home with students Tuesday:

September 2, 2014
Dear Parents,
This email is in reference to a Channel 7, KOAT news report as well as additional news reports that may follow the story. The report involves a former Rio Rancho High School custodian who has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct of a minor. The individual involved, Gary Briceno, was employed by Rio Rancho High School from September of 1997, when the school opened, to August 1, 2014. He is no longer employed by Rio Rancho Public Schools.
We are very limited in what we can say publicly because this is a personnel issue and also the subject of an ongoing law enforcement investigation. This situation is of great concern to us as a community, but also to me personally, as a parent of two daughters (class of 2009 and class of 2016) that have attended RRHS.
Rio Rancho Public Schools conducted its own thorough investigation into this matter earlier this summer when we became aware of the allegations against Mr. Briceno. This investigation did not produce any evidence that this situation involves anyone outside of Mr. Briceno's family. However, if anyone has information to the contrary, we urge them to contact the Rio Rancho Police Department.
Richard VonAncken
Principal RRHS

Gary Briceno

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