Former Taos Police Dept. officer charged with rape

A former Taos Police Department officer who left the agency following numerous allegations of misconduct was arrested Thursday (Aug. 7) on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman in Sandoval County.

Andrew Oxford
Posted 8/8/14

A former Taos Police Department officer who left the agency after one year on the job amid numerous allegations of misconduct was arrested Thursday (Aug. 7) on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman detained at a police station in Jemez Springs.

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Former Taos Police Dept. officer charged with rape

A former Taos Police Department officer who left the agency following numerous allegations of misconduct was arrested Thursday (Aug. 7) on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman in Sandoval County.

Posted

A former Taos Police Department officer who left the agency after one year on the job amid numerous allegations of misconduct was arrested Thursday (Aug. 7) on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman detained at a police station in Jemez Springs.

A spokesperson for the New Mexico State Police confirmed Shane Harger, 40, was taken into custody at his Edgewood home. A warrant for his arrest was filed with the Thirteenth Judicial District Court Thursday after he was indicted by a Sandoval County grand jury on charges of criminal sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact, kidnapping and extortion.

Harger left the Taos Police Department in 2004 while at the center of several lawsuits alleging he assaulted, battered or falsely imprisoned suspects during his one year on the job.

Federal court records indicate he was named as a defendant in two lawsuits during 2005. During 2004, he was named as a defendant in two lawsuits filed with state courts.

One federal lawsuit, which was settled by the town of Taos, alleged Harger pepper sprayed a restrained suspect and later arrested the man’s mother, purportedly as an act of revenge.

The lawsuit, which also named former chief Neil Curran as a defendant,  raised concerns about Harger’s record as a law enforcement officer.

Harger’s behavior at the Taos Police Department prompted a series of complaints and tort claims, the lawsuit said, and purportedly spurred one captain to resign.

Harger’s subsequent departure from the Taos Police Department was “not retirement,” according to municipal officials.

The officer later worked at the Milan Police Department and was most recently chief of police in Jemez Springs.

Harger surrendered his commission in Jemez Springs earlier this year when it emerged he carried an identification card under another name, Braxton Haze.

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