- Date of Crime: 2006-08-00
- Location of crime:
- Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
- Sex: F
- Age: 14
- Sex: M
- Arrest Status: convicted
- Nationality: Mexico
- Deportation Violations:
Perpetrator was previously deported prior to this crime.
In August 2006, a 14-teal old Saguaro High School student was raped after school by the school’s janitor, Roberto Lemus-Retana an illegal immigrant from Mexico.
The teenager said she returned to Saguaro after school on Aug. 25 to pick up books for homework. Lemus-Retana held her against her will after she exited a restroom stall. He began inappropriately touching her before pulling her to a computer classroom, she said.
A chilling 911 call made by the girl’s cousin the day of the alleged incident was played as evidence. As the girl got on the line crying, she told the dispatcher she was raped by a janitor at her school.
Lemus-Retana’s attorney, Jose Montano, attempted to chip away at her credibility. During opening arguments, he pointed at the girl sitting with her aunt and two cousins and said “that lady is lying.”
He said the police investigation was one-sided and biased and the case will be hard to defend.
“There were no signs of a struggle, no bruises, no signs of violence and no running away from the scene,” Montano said. “She lied to police officers, a nurse and she’s going to lie to you. Find my client guilty of what he did, but not what she is accusing him of.”
DNA evidence reveals there was sexual contact between the girl and Lemus-Retana, but Montano argued there was no sexual intercourse, only inappropriate touching.
Lemus-Retana, a former employee of ABM, which contracts with the Scottsdale Unified School District, has been held without bond since being arrested. He was convicted of six felony counts, including four counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one of public sexual indecency and one of sexual abuse and Lemus-Retana faces 52 to 86 years in prison when he is sentenced in July. .
Lemus-Retana had cleared a background check on the state level and had provided all the required paperwork to work at ABM, where he was hired July 31, according to Mark Safsten, vice president of safety and risk management for ABM. Safsten also said Lemus-Retana provided his past employment history.
Lemus-Retana had been arrested in Mohave County on suspicion of driving under the influence May 14, and supplied a driver’s license at the time. He was removed by U.S. Border Patrol agents four days later from that county’s jail to be returned to Mexico, Ahr said. The ICE spokesman could not confirm that Lemus-Retana left the United States.
Lemus-Retana didn’t have a Social Security number and was not a U.S. citizen when he was arrested May 14, and he shouldn’t have had a valid one when he was hired by ABM, Ahr said
Documentation:31AUG06, East Valley Tribune, Phoenix
Scottsdale school rape suspect in U.S. illegally, by Mike Sakal and Amanda Keim
23MAY07, East Valley Tribune, Phoenix
Girl, 14, testifies against accused ex-janitor in sex assault case
31May07, KPHO News 5, Phoenix
Janitor Convicted In Sex Assault