Gabino Otero-Labra, known on Facebook as Gabino Otero, stands accused of having sexually assaulted a thirteen-year-old girl when he was 24.
But the alleged victim isn't around to witness his prosecution.
The girl died in 2012 from a brain tumor, long before law enforcers working cold cases gathered enough evidence to charge Otero.
However, prosecutors from the Denver District Attorney's Office are continuing to seek justice for the late teen.
The story begins in 2010.
At 1:45 p.m. on Monday, March 29 of that year, according to an arrest affidavit on view below, a woman flagged down a Denver police officer to report that her thirteen-year-old daughter had run away from home.
Among the possible locations where she thought the girl might be found was a house at 3905 Kalamath Street.
She also referenced a man she called "Gavino Otero-Labra" as possibly knowing something about the teen's whereabouts. The girl had been with him the previous Friday.
Hours later, another Denver police officer was called to Swedish Hospital in regard to an alleged sexual assault — and the victim was the missing teen.
The girl told investigators that she'd spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the Kalamath address. On the last of these three evenings, she said she began to feel strange after drinking what she described as an orange soda, then passed out on a stairway — and when she awakened, she felt what's described as "vaginal soreness."
The conclusion: The girl had been sexually assaulted. As such, a sexual assault kit was collected — and it would prove to be key in the lengthy investigation.
During a subsequent interview, a middle-school-age friend of the victim said she'd connected her pal to Gabino (the correct name had been determined by this point) some time after meeting him at a Littleton-area bus stop. The victim encountered him for the first time on March 26. He allegedly claimed to be eighteen-years-old before lowering the number to sixteen, the report says.
On Friday night, the friend said, Otero and the victim slept together. She added that Otero had worn a condom and revealed that the victim told her she was "falling in love" with him.
Saturday was largely spent drinking beer and hanging out at an apartment on Colfax. Along the way, however, Otera asked the victim to go home, reportedly because he was worried that her parents would try to find her. The victim reacted by saying she'd kill herself if she was forced to go — and she also removed the SIM card and the battery from her phone in order to make it harder for authorities to track her down.
In the end, Otero allowed her to say — and they had sex again on Sunday night, following a day spent swigging strawberry vodka directly from the bottle.
The victim later withdrew the story about the orange soda, as well as the implication that she'd been drugged. She stressed that she really liked Otero and wanted to be with him.
A few months later, the victim's father called the Denver police to say the girl was living in Tennessee — and she was pregnant. She ultimately had an abortion, and afterward, the report states that a detective "collected the fetus and placed it into the property bureau." The age of the fetus roughly corresponded with the date of the alleged sexual assault.
These developments sound as if they could have formed the foundation of a strong case against Otero. But the arrest report makes no reference to an interview with him, suggesting that he rabbited before he could be questioned — and prior to the harvesting of a DNA sample. As such, the DNA test report scored no hits.
That changed in September 2015, when a match with Otero popped up — and this time, the cops knew where to find him. He'd been booked in Minnesota on an unrelated case, although he was due to be released in November.
No more. The Denver DA's office has now formally charged Otero with one count of sexual assault — and he's expected to be tried for the crime in Denver, even though his victim is no longer with us.
Look below to see Otero's booking photo, followed by the arrest documents.
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