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After long wait, Apodaca, Sr. convicted of child abuse, drug possessionTell North Platte what you think
 
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Virgil G. Apodaca, Sr.

Virgil Apodaca Sr. was convicted Monday of child abuse and possession of amphetamine, after a waiting more than a year for his day in court.

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Apodaca, 45, was arrested in May 2012, charged with the rape of three women in their late teens at two separate parties.

The women told police that they were drugged and raped, some repeatedly, at the parties on May 12 – one party at 1303 East Sixth and another party later at 420 West F.

Based on statements and medical examinations, Apodaca became the prime suspect. He was charged with first-degree sexual assault on May 17 and bond was set at $1 million.

Within weeks, three of his sons -- Virgil Jr., Jeromy and Anthony -- were also arrested, and each bond was set at $1 million. Each son was charged with aiding and abetting first-degree sexual assault, with each count carrying a maximum of 50 years imprisonment.

But the charges were dropped Nov. 29 against two sons, Jeromy and Anthony, when Lincoln County Judge Michael Piccolo said there was a lack of physical evidence against the two men. And, the women’s memories of events were unreliable because they said they were drugged and semi-conscious that night.

Charges were pressed against Virgil Sr. and his son Virgil, based on a DNA test that connected at least one of them to an alleged rape, but their day of judgment was repeatedly postponed by mutual agreement of the attorneys from both sides.

Virgil Sr. was released from jail on April 23, but required to wear a GPS tracking device. His health is failing.

In court Monday, two counts of aiding and abetting sexual assault were formally dismissed and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine was reduced to one count of methamphetamine possession.

Apodaca did not contest the amended charges, and Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch sentenced him to 364 days in the county jail, with credit for 341 days served.

Virgil Sr. has been out on an own recognizance bond since April 23 and has been required to wear a GPS tracking device.

Defense attorney Pat Hays asked Birch to allow the tracking device to be removed for the rest of his sentence, but Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling protested, and Birch ordered the device left in place.

Apodaca remains out of the jail because of kidney problems and the need for treatments.

Virgil, Jr. was on the court docket Monday too, but his case was once again continued.

Virgil, Jr. has been out of the jail since May 20 after he posted 10 percent of a $100,000 bond.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/26/2013
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