Accused serial rapist to be held in jail until trial
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An accused serial rapist is behind bars after a recent arrest, and it’s far from his first time in a jail cell.
Prosecutors believe Celso Montano has been raping women in the metro since at least 2009. They say he was committing the same type of crime as recently as July.
Two sex workers came forward to help the state on its third attempt to successfully prosecute Montano.
Celso Montano has carried a reputation in the metro for years.
“We put out a list of men who are out attacking women on the street. He’s been on this for 10 years,” said former executive director of Street Safe New Mexico, Christine Barber, in 2020.
Street Safe helps victims of sex trafficking and rape survivors.
“He’s done dozens of them, he’s not going to stop. Why would he stop? He has absolutely no reason to,” said Barber.
According to prosecutors, Barber was right. Montano is facing new charges connected to a July 2023 incident at his South Valley home.
“The allegations and the past history of allegations are extremely concerning, and quite frankly, horrific,” Barber said.
A woman who identified herself as a sex worker told police she posted an online advertisement on July 16.
A man offered her hundreds of dollars for two hours of “company and time” and a possible role-play scenario.
The woman told investigators she and a friend went to his home – and per his instructions – crawled through a fence and shed.
She described the property as a junkyard and saw “chainsaws, jigsaws, and other tools” in the shed.
She also described a bloody mattress on the property and decided to leave.
She told investigators, “She felt like he was going to hunt her.”
District Attorney Sam Bregman says the Special Victims Unit in his office is highly motivated to make sure Montano doesn’t get a chance to hurt anyone else.
“We will take every action we believe appropriate to hold this person accountable. There is no justification for what this person is doing to other human beings, none whatsoever,” said Bregman.
Montano took a plea deal in 2012 after multiple women accused him of rape.
In 2019, he was arrested after a rape kit from 2009 was processed. The victim in that case died, and Montano never served time for it.
In 2020, another victim came forward with rape allegations, but never followed through.
“He’s got a lot of accusations from the past. He’s pled to some, but at the end of the day, we will not let up, and we’re going to try and get justice for every single victim out there,” said Bregman.
Montano is facing rape charges along with others connected to human trafficking and promoting prostitution.
A judge decided Monday he will stay in jail until trial.