Man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Greenlee County

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office: John Holder, 20, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault on a minor under the age of 15 and one count of child molestation.

By Jon Johnson

DUNCAN – More than a year after an alleged horrific attack, a juvenile victim is searching for justice in Greenlee County. 

John Holder, 20, of Clifton, faces several charges regarding an alleged sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl that occurred in March 2020. 

Holder was arrested on a warrant on May 25, 2021, and booked into the Greenlee County Jail on a $200,000 bond regarding charges of two counts of sexual assault on a minor under the age of 15 and one count of child molestation. 

The case against Holder was initiated in March 2020, when a Silver City (New Mexico) Police officer called the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office about a sexual assault that occurred in Duncan, where Holder lived at the time. The victim had informed the Silver City Police that she was visiting a relative in Duncan and the relative’s boyfriend (Holder) had sexually assaulted her – causing injury. At that time, the victim was given an examination at a Silver City hospital.  

A Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office investigator interviewed Holder about the sexual assault allegation on March 23, 2020, but then the investigation stalled until January when the New Mexico State Police re-interviewed the victim with a  forensic interviewer at the request of Greenlee County Attorney Jeremy Ford. 

According to the victim’s account to authorities, Holder viciously sexually assaulted her in a trailer house on March 6, 2020, after her relative had left to go to work. She said Holder initially asked if she wanted to play video games but while doing so he overpowered her against her will and raped her.

After being interviewed a second time, a warrant was issued for Holder’s arrest on May 25, 2021, and he was taken into custody. Holder waived his right to a preliminary hearing on June 10, 2021, and the matter was bound over to Greenlee County Superior Court. Holder was then arraigned on the charges on June 14, 2021. Holder has retained attorney Channen Day to represent him.