Santa Rosa police officer arrested for rape and child solicitation

Santa Rosa police officer arrested for rape and child solicitation

A police officer is in jail tonight after reportedly trying to get teens to have sex with him in his patrol car.

SANTA ROSA, N.M. — A Santa Rosa police officer is in jail, facing some serious accusations involving teenage girls.

Documents state 21-year-old Joe Lucero-Gonzales joined the Santa Rosa Police Department this past March. All of his alleged criminal activity happened between May and August.

Police say he communicated with four teens over Snapchat and Facebook, sending them photos of his genitals and asking for explicit photos in return.

Police said the girls told them Lucero-Gonzales wanted to have sex with them in his patrol car while he was on duty, which they thought was strange.

Investigators said he did have sex with one of the girls, who was 15 years old. He allegedly met up with her in the middle of the night, while on duty.

Police say he was very persistent with the young girls. The victims said Lucero-Gonzales would follow them around in his patrol vehicle, continuously asking them to meet up.

Lucero-Gonzales later admitted it, saying the conversations were a “bad judgment call.”

The officer interviewing Lucero-Gonzales also asked if he knew the girls were underage — he said he did know.

Lucero-Gonzales is facing several charges, including rape and using an electronic device to solicit a child. He’s expected to appear in court Friday.

KOB 4 reached out to the Santa Rosa Police Department for a statement, but we have not received one yet.