Former Cochise County Woman Ordered To Stand Trial For 2018 Sexual Abuse Of Minor

ALSO CHARGED IN NEW MEXICO WITH ABUSE OF OTHER CHILDREN

A 44-year-old New Mexico woman accused back in 2018 of having sex with a teenaged boy in the same room where her children were sleeping has been ordered to stand trial this fall on sexual misconduct charges.

Rhonda Charlene Fouch was arraigned earlier this month in Cochise County Superior Court on multiple felonies related to her conduct with the boy, who was 15 at the time. She is also accused of using marijuana with the teen and her own young children.

Fouch was assigned a court-appointed attorney at the arraignment and ordered to appear in court June 19 for a pre-trial conference. She remains in the county jail pending a September jury trial.

Public records show Fouch came under investigation on Jan. 11, 2018 after the father of the teen contacted the Sierra Vista Police Department. Fouch became acquainted with the teen through a family member after moving from New Mexico to the Sierra Vista area with her children in late 2017. At the time, she was on probation for a drug case out of Lordsburg.

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The teen and his father were interviewed by detectives, who learned Fouch often left her children at the boy’s house. On other occasions, she and her kids would sleep over at the house.

The alleged sexual encounters between Fouch and the teen involved intercourse as well as oral sex. At least one of the incidents was reported to have happened in the teen’s bedroom while some of Fouch’s children were sleeping in the room.

The boy also reported smoking marijuana with Fouch and one of her children who was under the age of 10 at the time.

One week after the sexual abuse was reported, Fouch was named as the subject of a child abuse complaint involving .

Records from the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office show the abuse complaint was made by a family member, who also contacted Arizona Department of Child Safety. A deputy was assigned to interview the 11-year-old child, who reported being hit several times on the head by her mother, causing a bloody nose.

The deputy noted in his report he believed the family member who reported the incident “was more worried about getting Rhonda in trouble and obtaining custody of (the child).” The report also notes the deputy contacted DCS and that no further action was taken.

However, Sierra Vista detectives working the sexual abuse case also became aware of the child abuse allegation involving Fouch’s daughters. Arrangements were made to have the girl interviewed at Lori’s Place in order to ascertain the nature of any abuse.

The girl repeated the allegation about being hit by Fouch. She also disclosed information about smoking marijuana with her mother.

In late February 2018, the SVPD file was submitted to the Cochise County Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution. It’s unclear what happened at that time, as the next update in the report is dated Sept. 10, 2018, when two SVPD detectives traveled to New Mexico to interview Fouch at the office of her probation officer.

Their reports indicate Fouch admitted to at least three sexual incidents with the teen as well as drug use. The case was then resubmitted to the county attorney’s office which secured a nine-count grand jury indictment in late 2018.

By then, Fouch was the subject of a New Mexico bench warrant for violating terms of her probation. She was arrested on that warrant in January 2019 and sent to a New Mexico state prison after her probation was revoked.

Fouch would not be booked into the Cochise County jail on the SVPD charges until May 7, 2020. She is being held on $100,000 bail.

Court records show Fouch is also the subject to two active child abuse charges out of the Los Lunas District Court in New Mexico. Those charges stem from an alleged incident in February 2018. Her next court date in that case is set for next month.