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Defense Attorney: Security guard and teacher ’embraced,’ no criminal intent

The defense attorney representing a Las Cruces Public Schools security guard accused of sexually assaulting a teacher denied the allegations surrounding his client.

“They started joking and flirting, some innuendo going back and forth. Mutually, there was an embrace,” defense attorney Jeff Lahann told ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom.

Tom Trujillo, 59, is charged with two counts of Criminal Sexual Penetration by Force or Coercion, Bribery of a Witness, Kidnapping and Battery.

On Sept. 26, 2017, Trujillo allegedly entered the teacher’s classroom, grabbed her arms and escorted her to an isolated part of the room. The woman told police Trujillo wanted to “pat her down,” court documents state. Police said Trujillo sexually assaulted the teacher as she asked him to stop multiple times.

The defense attorney said there was no criminal sexual penetration. “There was an embrace,” Lahann said, “There, perhaps, was some touching over the clothes, but nothing forceful. Nothing penetrating. Nothing to the point that by any means could be considered criminal.”

Lahann insists the embrace happened once and Trujillo walked away. “When Tom realized this was not the right thing for him to do, it was not how he was raised, it was not in keeping with his family values, he felt very bad and he walked away,” the attorney said.

Lahann said his client is a 21-year employee of the federal penitentiary system, a volunteer coach and a family man who always treated others with respect.

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