Arguments begin in Genaro Sandoval trial

Posted at: 01/10/2013 1:27 PM
Updated at: 01/10/2013 1:49 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Genaro Sandoval
Photo: Genaro Sandoval

Arguments for and against accused rapist and molester Genaro Sandoval started Thursday morning at the Bernalillo County Courthouse.

The prosecution said Genaro Sandoval raped an eleven-year-old boy in August 2003 at gunpoint. There are a total of five cases against Sandoval involving the rape or molestation of boys, but this case is a separate trial because of DNA evidence.

The state prosecutor said Sandoval's DNA was found inside the victim's shorts. Sandoval's DNA became available in 2007, and tests came back that showed the DNA on the victim's shorts matched Sandoval. Police executed a search warrant on Sandoval's home in Gallup and found a pistol, video camera, hoodie and the defendant had glasses similar to the victim's description.

"There is absolutely no one else on earth who it could be other than (Genaro Sandoval)," prosecutor Lisa Trabaudo said.

But the defense argued to the jury that DNA cannot stand alone.

"This case is going to illustrate the problem with this kind of evidence. DNA was started to support what other evidence was relevant in a case," defense attorney Joseph Newton Riggs said.

Another point of the defense was that neither the victim nor another eyewitness to the victim's rape recognized Sandoval as the attacker.

But the prosecution told the jury another statement before wrapping up the morning opening statement.

"And we will ask you to convict the defendant of all of the charges," Trabaudo said.

The trial is expected to last two or three weeks. Witness testimonies will continue Thursday afternoon.