Pest control tech faces felony charges

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Terminix serviceman allegedly assaulted local woman

By Carol A. Clark

Longtime Los Alamos Terminix serviceman, Charles Herrera, 63, of Santa Fe has been charged with criminal sexual penetration.

The charge stems from an alleged incident that occurred inside the home of a local woman for whom he has provided pest control services for many years.

In his Nov. 4 arraignment, Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados ordered Herrera to post a $25,000 cash or surety bond. Casados also ordered Herrera to avoid all contact with the victim and her family, inform his employers of the charge filed against him and prohibited him from entering Los Alamos County except to attend court appearances.

In the statement of probable cause, the 58-year-old female alleged victim stated Herrera provided pest control service to her home for nearly 30 years as an employee of Terminix. She stated she was surprised to see Charles show up at her home on July 23, which was several days before his scheduled monthly service appointment.

According to the statement, the victim did not suspect anything ominous and let him into her home. She said they sat down in her living room.

She said, “all of a sudden” he began to feel her breasts and then took one arm and held it up over her head, according to the police report.

She said she was in a position where she “couldn’t fight back.” He started kissing her, she said adding, “That didn’t last too long.”

According to the report, Herrera wasn’t saying anything and the victim asked him what he was doing to which he instructed her to relax.

She was wearing shorts and underwear and according to the report, he stretched the right leg of her shorts and underwear and put his fingers into her.

“He tried to manipulate me that way,” she said in the report.

In a second interview the victim stated to police that she told Herrera to stop “many times.”

The victim told police she couldn’t remember much more except that she told Herrera her boyfriend would be home at 2 p.m., which she explained to police wasn’t true but was said to get him off of her.

Herrera asked her if she was going to tell anybody and she said she wouldn’t, according to the statement of probable cause.

She saw him driving his service truck the next day and said he stopped and asked if she had told anyone, according to the report. She stated that she told Herrera she had not told anyone.

Herrera met with police Oct. 13. He admitted talking “dirty” to the victim but said he had never had sexual thoughts about her.

In an interview this morning, Los Alamos Police Capt. Randy Foster addressed the investigation leading up to the charge filed against Herrera.

“This has been a difficult case but the time and effort Det. Shari Mills put into the investigation has led to the arraignment in Magistrate Court. This is the first case of this nature that I’ve seen in my 11-year career with the LAPD,” Foster said. “This was definitely an isolated incident and shouldn’t be seen as a common problem.”

Terminix in Albuquerque declined to say whether Herrera remains employed. Calls to the corporate office for comment were not immediately returned.