New Mexico rape cold case delayed in court today

Posted at: 04/10/2013 1:12 PM
Updated at: 04/10/2013 3:49 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Joseph Blea, accused of raping at least five teenage girls in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, was set to get one step closer to trial today.

However the plea for his 15 charges - including four counts of criminal sexual penetration, four counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor, four counts of kidnapping and five counts of child abuse - was delayed.

It began in the 80’s, when police say he raped at least five women near McKinley Middle School.

Authorities made a link in 2009 when Blea was arrested for domestic violence.

In 2010, he rejected a guilty plea deal from the state.

Today should have brought him close to trial, but instead his attorney said one of his accusers was dropping charges.

He said claimed the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office harassed the accuser to say

Blea had assaulted her, now, the person says Blea had nothing to do with her assault.

The attorney asked to reschedule a status conference for a month from now, and the state’s attorney agreed. She said it was the first time she’d heard of these claims.

The district attorney’s office said the same thing, and that they’d use the extra time to review the new statements.