Former Pecos assistant coach indicted on sex crime charges

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May 14—A federal grand jury had indicted former Pecos assistant boys basketball coach Joshua Rico on five felony counts of inciting a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, using a method of interstate commerce.

The indictment, unsealed Friday, accuses him of victimizing four minors — identified only as Jane Does 1-4 — in San Miguel County between 2018 and 2020.

Charging documents indicate Rico has been arrested, and the U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking to have him forfeit three cellphones used in carrying out his alleged crimes if he is convicted.

Rico has been accused in state court of using fake names to befriend young girls on social media platforms, enticing them to send compromising photos and then using the photos to blackmail the girls into sending him more photos or engaging in sex acts by threatening to publish the photos online.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office charged Rico with 10 felony counts in February 2020 — including criminal sexual penetration, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, extortion, distribution of child pornography and criminal sexual communication with a child — after prosecutors say he sexually exploited three girls between 2013 and 2019.

A state prosecutor dismissed those charges last fall pending further investigation but told The New Mexican he was waiting to see whether the U.S. Attorney's Office would prosecute before deciding how to proceed.