South Dakota bar owner Werner Fajardo charged with raping 3 girls
The shots of alcohol and mixed drinks began flowing in the early morning hours. Three friends — two 14-year-olds and a 12-year-old — were supposed to be babysitting over a Saturday night. Instead, police say, they met up with a bar owner, who drove them to his closed tavern and began pouring them drinks — vodka shots, orange juice and vodka, vodka and coke and energy drinks.
Two of the girls say they got sick, and all three say they either passed out or fell asleep at the bar.
That's when, according to prosecutors, 34-year-old Werner Fajardo raped each of them. Fajardo, who owns and operates a bar in the South Dakota city of Huron, was charged with six counts of rape and three counts of giving alcohol to minors. He was released after posting a $10,000 cash bond.
A week later, the Huron Police Department conducted its first-ever alcohol compliance check of the El Cuervo bar. When police discovered 11 minors inside, Fajardo was arrested a second time and charged with violating beverage laws, five counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor and allowing people under the age of 21 on the premises.
Fajardo, who has not publicly discussed the cases, pleaded not guilty to all the charges during an arraignment on Dec. 20 and requested jury trials in both cases. He is being held on $150,000 bond. Fajardo's lawyer has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
City leaders have scheduled a public hearing Friday to consider whether to recommend that the state Department of Revenue revoke or suspend Fajardo's liquor license.
El Cuervo, located on the first floor of a two-story building along one of Huron's main streets, regularly posts signs promoting a teen night, said Sheila Moore, manager of Homecare Services, an independent living agency next door.
"I questioned how they were able to have teen night in a bar," she said. "We saw teenagers go in and out."
According to police, Fajardo exploited an outdated ordinance that allowed 18- to 21-year-olds in an establishment serving alcohol if it was designated as a dance hall. City records show Fajardo applied for the dance hall license in June 2010, and it took effect two months later. The ordinance was repealed soon after, but El Cuervo apparently still welcomed minors.
It was through the teen nights that Fajardo met the girls, said Michael R. Moore, Beadle County's state's attorney.
Police said until Fajardo's arrest they had no knowledge of underage drinking or any other crimes at the bar, said Sgt. Brandon Neitzert, spokesman for the Huron Police Department. He said police have not regularly conducted alcohol compliance checks at bars around town for years.
"Obviously we were missing some things. Whether or not it could have been caught with compliance checks at El Cuervo, we'll never know," he said, adding that the department is planning to increase police presence at bars.
There's no sign marking El Cuervo anymore — neighbors say someone took it down in the middle of the night a few weeks ago — and the building is locked, but remnants of the bar and club remain. An unlit neon Bud Light sign hangs inside the window, while a faded red canopy with yellow stenciled letters advertising "bar," ''Latino" and "baile" — the Spanish word for dance — remains in front of the red-brick building. Police say it was the only establishment licensed as a dance hall in Huron, a town of about 13,000 people 120 miles northwest of Sioux Falls
Sheila Moore, who is not related to the state's attorney, wasn't working when the bar was open during the weekends, but said she often saw the leftover signs of raucous times — broken glass, blood on the bar's windows and beer bottles — when she arrived to work on Mondays.
Fajardo, who authorities say lives in Sioux Falls and traveled to Huron on the weekends to run the bar, is charged with first-degree and third-degree rape for the alleged attack on the 12-year-old girl, and counts of third-degree rape and fourth-degree rape for each of the alleged attacks on the 14-year-old girls. If convicted of first-degree rape, he could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
According to court documents, after drinking several mixed drinks and vodka shots, the three girls passed out or became so groggy, they felt as if they couldn't move. Fajardo allegedly touched one of the girls' genitals. A second woke up and found Fajardo pulling up her underwear and pants and saw a condom wrapper on the table next to her, authorities say. The 12-year-old told police she awoke with memories of Fajardo having sex with her.
That was Oct. 30. It wasn't until one of the 14-year-olds told her parents on Nov. 11 about the alleged rape that authorities began to uncover allegations of underage drinking and sexual assaults at El Cuervo. Police questioned the girl's friends as potential witnesses — and heard two of them say they had been assaulted the same night, according to Moore, the prosecutor.
"They all told a similar story of what happened that night — that they drank this alcohol and then passed out. They all had similar memories of what happened, but none of them were able to say what happened to the other person," he said.
The girls were examined by Child's Voice, a Sioux Falls organization that conducts examinations and interviews of children in such cases. Investigators are still trying to determine if the girls had been drugged, but Moore, the state's attorney, said too much time had passed for physical evidence.
Fajardo is also charged with sexual contact with a person incapable of consenting and sexual exploitation of a minor for two alleged incidents in September involving different victims that were uncovered after the original three girls spoke with police.
His trial on the six rape charges, various sexual assault charges and furnishing alcohol to minors is set for March 28. He will be tried on the beverage law violation on Feb. 23.
"It's not good. I have two daughters. I'm really offended," said Jim Brockhoft, the owner of an audio and video store across the street from the building that houses El Cuervo.
Other neighbors say they had heard talk that illegal activity was taking place at El Cuervo but didn't have proof.
"I've heard rumors there were minors," said Sue Harrington, who works at a bar across the street from El Cuervo. But, she added, "you hear rumors all the time."
An Illinois man has admitted to smothering his pregnant girlfriend to death while the couple was staying at a romantic lakeside resort for a friend's ... Full story
- Young couple Julian Soler, Kennia Duran shot dead by car jackers in 'cold blood
- Homeless woman Natasha Hubbard charged with attacking baby in LA
- Caught On Tape: Gunmen Open Fire On SEPTA Bus in Philadelphia
- Colleen Francis: Transgender Student in Women's Locker Room Raises Uproar
- UFO over historic barn
- Music teacher Daniel Torroll caught 'in lewd sex act with child-like doll' on school grounds
- I-5 bridge collapses in NW Wash.; people in water
- Cashier Mary Jane Hart sells herself $1 million winning Powerball ticket
- Rape victim Landen Gambill faces being kicked out of college because she 'INTIMIDATED' her 'attacker' by speaking out
- Married teacher Carrie Shafer facing sex charges after being caught partially naked with student
- Pharmacy Owner Babubhai Patel Accused Of Fraud Wants Out Of Jail
- Hooters labels newly-naturalized Korean couple 'CHINX' on racist receipt
- Loving Family: Man 'had sex with his sister-in-law so that she could get pregnant rather than getting IVF treatments'
- Pictured: The school bus driver Ariel Castro accused of abducting the three missing Ohio girls
- Uniformed New Mexico officer Bert Lopez filmed having sex with woman on car hood
- Ex-boyfriend George Huguely V guilty in lacrosse slaying
- Female armed robber stripped, beaten and set alight by angry lynch mob
- Detroit Man Jomiah Washington Charged in Murders of Daborah Young, and Unborn Baby
- Guns are legal but Little Red Riding Hood and Chocolate are not
- Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva: Mother of Boston bombing suspects arrested last year for 'stealing $1,600 worth of clothes from Lord & Taylor'
- Fired for Word 'Negro': Spanish Teacher Claims She Used Spanish Word for 'Black'
- Sitter Keyona Davis rode in truck bed with baby in stroller, cops say
- Doctor Dario Napolitano arrested at Disney World for 'kicking his son, 3, in the face'
- 4 Americans killed since 2009 in US drone strikes
- 'Wrap your legs around my head': Married Fox weatherman Geoff Fox fired after 'inappropriate' sexting chats with female photographer
- Obama as Jesus painting slammed 4 years ago goes on display in Boston
- Rhonda Lee, African American Meteorologist, Fired for Reply to Racist Facebook Comments
- Former principal John Ward arrested after his former student, 16, 'says he's the father of her baby'
- Mr and Mrs Muscle! Engaged bodybuilders win world championship honours at same event
- Attorney Reema Bajaj, 25, charged with prostitution for 'performing $50 sex-act on man'
- Florida Mom Debbie Piscitella Chokes Bully Over Facebook Comments
- Naked Florida couple Tina Norris, James Barfield arrested after swinger’s party takes violent turn
- Married female judge Joy Oldfield and public defender caught in semi-naked lesbian tryst in back of SUV
- Harriet Deison: Pastor's wife, 65, buys pistol from gun shop and shoots herself dead in the parking lot
- Tanya Angus: Woman fighting gigantism dies suddenly aged 34 after growing to nearly 7ft and 400lbs
- Top ABC newsman Don Ennis becomes newswoman as he leaves wife of 17 years and renames himself 'Dawn'
- Zumba prostitute Alexis Wright had sex with up to FIVE men per day with only 15 MINUTE BREAKS between clients
- Sisters ejected from Pa. mall over profanity-laden cancer hats
- Boy Scouts end gay youth ban
- 'Wrap your legs around my head': Married Fox weatherman Geoff Fox fired after 'inappropriate' sexting chats with female photographer 19
- James Taylor Named By Colleagues As Pilot From Cockpit Rant 17
- Babysitter Loni Bouchard 'had sex with boy, 14, she was hired to look after' 16
- Daytona Woman Katie Burson Dies After House Party Shooting 10
- Florida woman Danisa Landaeta arrested for drawing picture of bomb on friend's bag at Miami International Airport 10
- Teenage Boy Cody Riddle Drowns In Boone Lake 8
- Dunkin' Donuts employee Melissa Redmond busted for prostitution; sold sex out of restaurant 7
- Motorcycle Plunges Off Route 1, Chelsea Man Cory White Killed 6
- Pharmacy Owner Babubhai Patel Accused Of Fraud Wants Out Of Jail 5
- Pictured: The moment handcuffed woman Danielle Maudsley, was left brain dead after being Tasered for trying to escape police 5
- Glenda Moore: Mother whose boys were swept out of her arms was left screaming on street for 12 hours 5
- Tanya Angus: Woman fighting gigantism dies suddenly aged 34 after growing to nearly 7ft and 400lbs 5
- Couple 'savagely beat son, three, for wetting his pants 4
- Florida woman Natasha Larson posed as husband's ex on Craiglist, posted steamy ads looking for casual sex 4
- Hormiz David, Ninos Yacoub, Ramina Badal Presumed Dead From Yosemite Fall 4
- Philadelphia judge Adam Beloff 'hangs himself after separating from his wife' 4
- Applebee's Waitress Chelsea Welch Fired For Sharing 'I Give God 10%' Tip Receipt 4
- Ohio Gym Teacher Stacy Schuler 'had sex with five students' 3
- Denver: Teens Phillip Abernathy and Connor Greenwall Accused Of Distributing Child Porn 3
- 'Stabbed over $20': Teenager 'killed brother's girlfriend Kamisha Richards over loan for diapers and milk 3
- Teacher, Sandra Hadsock, 64, charged with child abuse For Punching Student 3
- Video shows brutal racist attack on black man James Craig Anderson in Mississippi: prosecutors 3
- Novi Native Jackie Michon Killed In Chicago Accident 3
- Veteran teacher Jerry Buell suspended for gay bashing on Facebook 3
- NY Woman Minhee Cho outraged after Papa John's write racist name on her receipt 3
- Penn Judge Uses Sharia Law, Says Muslims Allowed to Attack People for Insulting Mohammad 3
- Florida Mother Dalina J. Nicholas 'repeatedly sold daughter, 6, for sex in return for drugs' 3
- Teacher Marilyn Bart Investigated for Race Conflict 3
- Revealed: Dramatic pictures of Trayvon's lifeless body as new evidence shows Zimmerman bleeding with 'broken nose' 3
- Pastor Charles Worley delivers shocking sermon calling for extermination of homosexuals 3
- Geoffrey McGann: 'Artist' carrying homemade 'watch bomb' with fuses and circuit board arrested at California airport 3
- Three women diners left furious after their check came with 'FAT GIRLS' written on top 3
- Jacqueline Baffoni: Teacher jokes about stabbing her middle school students with a fruit knife 3
- Bullied teen Baileigh Karam vanishes the same day shocking video of her being brutally attacked at school is filmed and posted online 3
- Bishop Larry Trotter: Outrage after picture of Chicago bishop sharing bathtub with granddaughter emerges on Instagram 3
- Judge bans father-of-four Asim Taylor who owes $100k child support from having any more kids 3
- Pit bull saves woman from fire 3
- Missing Lake Elsinore Mom Tanya Petro's Remains Found 2
- Police shootings in America: Sudden wave sparks fears of secret 'war on cops' 2
- Florida Mother Julie Schenecker shot her two teen children twice in the head 'for being mouthy' 2
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|