Black light dance exposes serious assault charge

By Andrew Sheeler / Sun Star Reporter
Feb. 21, 2012

The superior court of the state of Alaska charged Marcos E. Camacho with sexual assault in the first degree.

A Fairbanks man charged with sexually assaulting a UAF student at the Wood Center Black Light Dance now looks at a more serious charge and could face a decades-long sentence if convicted.

Marcos Camacho, 20, was initially charged with sexual assault in the second degree, which means he had unwanted sexual contact with the victim. Charging documents say Camacho stuck his hand down the UAF student’s pants against her will as the two danced in the Wood Center Ballroom. A grand jury later returned an indictment of sexual assault in the first degree, a more serious charge.

Sexual assault in the second degree is a Class B felony. Sexual assault in the first degree is an unclassified felony and carries the potential for more prison time if Camacho is convicted. A conviction would require Camacho to register with the state as a sex offender.

Officer Clay Faris, who made the Jan. 29 arrest, said “it was just kind of pure dumb luck” that Camacho was caught. A fellow UAF police officer was on foot patrol at the dance when he cited Camacho for underage drinking, Faris said. The foot-patrol officer called for backup when Camacho became aggressive, Faris said.

Friends of the victim reported the sexual assault to Faris as police were leaving the building. Had the witnesses not stepped forward, Faris said, Camacho would have “disappeared.”

After the witnesses made a statement, Faris arrested Camacho and read him his Miranda rights – the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during interrogation. Camacho confessed to “touching everything” and penetrating the victim with his fingers, according to charging documents. The sexual assault was “very messy,” Faris said.

Camacho allowed police to physically examine him. Police swabbed his cheek, hands, fingers, palms and fingernails. They also collected fingernail scrapings. The physical evidence corroborated the assault, Faris said.

The following day, the victim visited the hospital for a forensic examination for sexual assault.

Police took Camacho to the Fairbanks Correctional Center until his arraignment. He was released on a $5,000 bail bond to the custody of his parents and a co-worker. Assistant District Attorney Joe Dallaire called the low bail amount “ridiculous,” based on the seriousness of the charge.

Camacho’s trial is scheduled for the first week of April, according to online court records. “A big part” of the case, Faris said, will be the willingness of the victim’s friends to testify. Without them, this could be another case of “he said, she said,” Faris said.

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