FORT EDWARD — A farm worker who is in the U.S. illegally has been indicted on three charges for alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl earlier this summer.
Ricardo Barajas-Suarez, 33, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual act, second-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree sexual abuse in an indictment handed up by a Washington County grand jury. The charges accuse him of sexually assaulting the teen in a home in southern Washington County, near a farm where he had been working.
He was charged with a single criminal sexual act count in July after an investigation by State Police from the Greenwich station.
State Police were called after the girl, with whom the defendant was acquainted, ran from her room screaming about the attack, authorities said. She suffered no apparent physical injuries, police said.
Police said Barajas-Suarez is a native of Mexico who had been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Washington County last November when he was found to have overstayed a work visa, but he was released a short time later because he “did not meet the (federal) administration requirements” for deportation at the time, officials said.
State Police did not identify the farm where Barajas-Suarez or the other immigrants who were detained during the investigation had been working.
Barajas-Suarez has pleaded not guilty to the indictment and is being held in Washington County Jail pending further court action. He faces up to 32 years in state prison.