Albuquerque police search for convicted rapist who cut off GPS ankle monitor
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police are searching for a convicted rapist who cut off his GPS ankle monitor, one day after his sentencing.
Ralph Vasquez reportedly cut off his ankle monitor just hours before he was supposed to turn himself in to start serving his sentence.
“He finally got a solid conviction of nine years incarcerated for his crime, and here he is, nowhere to be found,” said Lauren Rodriguez, director of communications for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office.
Vasquez was convicted of rape against his ex-girlfriend in 2020. Judge Stan Whitaker gave him the maximum possible sentence of nine years this week.
“It’s extremely frustrating for us, but it’s even more frustrating for the public, for people walking around who want to live in a safe community,” Rodriguez said.
The district attorney’s office requested to keep Vasquez behind bars until trial back in 2020 – but it was denied.
“We deemed him a flight risk in 2020, we deem him a flight risk now, and unfortunately, that all came true,” Rodriguez said.
She said the district attorney’s office also asked for an in-person sentencing hearing this week, but that was also denied.
“We’re always frustrated when we feel that the public is being put at danger,” Rodriguez said. “Which in this case, the public is again at danger. Especially the victim.”
Vasquez is at least the fifth person to cut off his GPS ankle monitor this year. Just like those cases, this brings up doubts in the GPS monitoring system.
“I think that GPS will continue to be an issue because when you’re put on GPS, you’re put on one of the most strict conditions of release, and it’s just not doing its job,” Rodriguez said.
If you see Ralph Vasquez, do not approach him, and call police.