Family of NM teen accused of rape opens up to ABC-7

Investigators say teen admitted to raping two young girls

Family member of teenager accused of rape opens up to ABC-7

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Court documents obtained by ABC-7 show Lazarus Delaurentis, 14, told investigators he was having sex with two of his young relatives, but he said it was consensual. 

Investigators are concerned with how advanced Delaurentis' thought process of allegedly sexually abusing these girls seems to be.

"This was not just one incident. This is an ongoing, planned out and over and over again act on the respondent's part," District Attorney Amy Orlando told ABC-7.

According to court documents, Delaurentis was having sex with two young girls eight years old or younger. One girl told investigators he had sex with her twenty times over the course of several months.

Investigators said one of the girls told them this had been going on for several years.

In the documents, Lazarus told investigators the girls "liked it" and admitted to having sex six times with one girl and once with the other.

A family member who did not want to be identified tells me Delaurentis' reputation has been blown out of proportion.

"Everybody in town thinks he's a sexual predator. He's not. He's a 14 year old boy," the family member said.

Court documents reveal Delaurentis would play a game called "Vampire" with the little girls. He would allegedly taken them into a dark closet and kiss them, leading up to the sexual acts.

"There were adults there but they weren't being watched, the teenagers weren't. I can't personally say exactly what's going on there, but I just think maybe that was part of the problem too. The no supervision," the family member said.

The family member tells me she does not think Delaurentis committed a crime.

"Every man I know so far has said, 'Oh, boys go through that at that age.' They explore with family, especially family and friends, and almost every man has said that so far," the family member told ABC-7.

Investigators are concerned about how things developed.

"Where would he learn this behavior? Did he see it? Is he following the instructions of somebody else? We don't know that," Orlando said.

For now, the family told ABC-7 they just want the young boy to get the help they feel he needs.

"We're very relieved that this came out in the way that he's going to get help now. He has some problems, and he's going to get help and we're seeking help," the family member said.

Delaurentis is charged with seven counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor. Officials said he could face additional charges and could even be tried as an adult. If convicted as an adult, Delaurentis could face up to 96 years in prison.

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