Thursday, May 24, 2007

Suspect admits he abducted, assaulted girl, 7

By Vic Ryckaert and Jon Murray
A 27-year-old man admitted today in court he abducted and assaulted a 7-year-old neighbor at a Southside apartment complex.
The victim underwent surgery after the attack and remained in Riley Hospital for Children this morning, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Matthew Mount said.
Castillo admitted his guilt, despite the court commissioner's routine entry of a not guilty plea on Castillo's behalf during his initial hearing this morning in Marion Superior Court.
"I agree with what I did, and I know what I did," Jonathan Castillo said through a Spanish translator after Commissioner Steven Rubick read the five charges against him. "I was drunk, and I can't just fix things just because I'm drunk."
Rubick tried to cut him off.
"By confessing under oath, you've just made (the public defender's) job much more difficult," Rubick said.
Prosecutors asked Rubick for Castillo's $100,000 bond to be increased to $250,000, citing the risk to the community and a flight risk because Castillo is an undocumented immigrant. Castillo had told Rubick he is a dual citizen of Mexico and Honduras and works as a day laborer.
Rubick granted the request for higher bond, citing Castillo's "partial confession" as another factor. He is being held in Marion County Jail.
Castillo, police say, wore a mask, climbed through a third-story balcony and snatched the child from her bedroom at the Capital Place Apartments, located near Hanna Avenue and U.S. 31.
He took the victim to his apartment in the same complex and assaulted her, according to police reports.The Star does not generally identify the victims of sexual assault.
The girl’s family discovered her missing about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and began searching the apartment complex. Family members stepped outside and saw the suspect drop the girl on the ground and run toward another apartment, according to the report.
Another witness, identified as Castillo’s girlfriend, told police she saw the victim’s blood on Castillo’s leg and foot shortly after the assault, according to reports.
Police questioned Castillo and he allegedly admitted to attacking the girl, but reports did not elaborate on any reason for the attack. Police seized a bedspread, clothing, carpeting and other evidence from Castillo’s apartment.
Castillo was charged with burglary and child molesting, both Class A felonies that each carry a potential penalty of 20 to 50 years in prison. He also is charged with two counts of criminal confinement and one count of battery. Both charges are Class B felonies carrying a penalty of six to 20 years in prison upon conviction.
Rubick set Castillo's trial for July 30.
"This is one of those cases you just can't put into words, it's so egregious," said David Wyser, the Marion County prosecutor's chief trial deputy, outside court. "A defenseless 7-year-old girl abducted from her bed."


Illegal immigrant guilty of Morristown rape
Man, 28, attacked woman with help of stranger
BY PEGGY WRIGHT DAILY RECORD Wednesday, May 23, 2007

39 Comments An illegal immigrant from Honduras, who first claimed he was offered sex by a woman in Morristown in exchange for $200, broke down crying Tuesday before admitting to a judge he pulled the victim off a sidewalk and raped her with the help of a passing stranger.
Joel Armando Romero, 28, pleaded guilty before state Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Falcone in Morristown to kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault of the victim on July 10, 2005. The victim has been identified as a young adult from London who was temporarily in the United States working as an intern.
Romero, who recently was given his fifth court-appointed lawyer, chose to affirm in court rather than swear on the Holy Bible. Through a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Romero told the judge: "The Bible is sacred. I don't want to put my hand on the Bible."
The judge led Romero through a lengthy explanation of his plea bargain, and how he will have to register as a convicted sex offender under Megan's Law when he is released from prison, if he is not deported to Honduras.
Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood said the state's recommendation for Romero is 30 years in prison, but the judge said he would impose no more than 20 years, with 85 percent of the term to be served before parole eligibility.
Romero -- who said he finished just four elementary school grades in Honduras -- said he was at a bar in town close to 2 a.m. on July 10, 2005, and spotted the woman walking alone on the street as he stood in the tavern doorway. He said he walked with her and struck up a conversation, inquiring "Where's your boyfriend?" He claimed, at first, that the woman solicited him for sex.
"She said she was not looking for a boyfriend. She said she was looking for money," Romero said, prompting Calderwood to rise from her chair in the courtroom.
Romero said the woman told him she would have sex for $200, a statement that caused the judge to halt the proceeding and warn Romero that he was under oath to tell the truth.
Romero bowed his head and started crying, saying: "It's very difficult for me." After conferring for several minutes with defense lawyer William G. Johnson, Romero admitted that he pulled the woman off the sidewalk into nearby woods and raped her.
He said a passing stranger -- later identified as Morristown resident Juan Amendano -- approached him, pulled off the woman's pants and fondled her breasts while he, Romero, forced intercourse on the victim.
"He said he wanted to rape her first," Romero claimed of Amendano. Romero said he assaulted the victim first, before police showed up.
Amendano pleaded guilty in April to aggravated sexual assault, telling the judge he came upon Romero raping the woman in a patch of woods off Lafayette Avenue.
Amendano, who faces eight to 10 years in prison on his plea, said he held the woman down at Romero's request. The woman's cries for help were heard and reported to police, who caught Amendano running away and Romero on top of the victim. Both have been held in the Morris County jail since their arrests.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Illegal Immigrant Accused of Rape Jumps BailPolice:

Manuel Flores disappeared from the U.S.

My Fox Colorado May 22, 2007

DENVER — Law enforcement agencies say they followed policies and proceedures, but an illegal alien, accused of sexually assaulting a nine year-old Denver girl, was still able to post a bond and flee the country.
The man, who called himself Manuel Flores, was arrested February 15 and accused of raping and sodomizing his girlfriend’s daughter. According to police documents, he was not able to provide a Social Security number or driver’s license. When he was booked into the Denver Jail, he told Officers he was born in Moralos, Mexico.
A Sheriff’s Department spokesman says they alerted federal immigration officials that Flores might be an illegal alien, but ICE apparently did not put an immigration hold on him. Judge Andrew Armatas set as $35,000 bond, which legal observers say is low for someone suspected of seuxally assaulting a child. But before prosecutors had a chance to argue for a higher bond, Flores put up the $3500 dollars necessary to bond out, and fled to Mexico.
Bounty hunter James Ness discovered Flores real name and tracked him to his hometown in Mexico. Ness says he provided the information to prosecutors, but there is no move to bring the suspect back to the United States. Ness says he thinks this case fell through the cracks, but he adds, “But the crack is huge. A lot of people fall into that crack.”
ICE and the Judge did not respond to Fox31 calls. The Denver Sheriff’s Department says they report roughly 20 suspected illegal aliens under arrest to ICE each day. But the federal agency typically puts holds on only two or three.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Mother Works To Change Immigration Laws
May 1, 2007 04:17 PM CDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A Middle Tennessee woman whose son died in a motor vehicle accident is working to change state laws regarding immigration.
In November 2006, Lyn Tsuji's son, Alex Tsuji died in a car accident.
"We were just shopping for Thanksgiving, and I was buying them video games," Tsuji said.
The family planned to have an all-night video marathon.
As they drove, another driver Mauricio Salazar crashed into their car. Police said he was driving while intoxicated and he was in the Unted States illegally.
She said she thinks about her son all the time.
"Every morning you have to wake up and I have to make peace that I won't be seeing him anymore," she said. "And when I go to sleep, I just hope God is keeping him well."
Refusing to suffer quietly, Tsuji is going public with her private pain. She is pushing for change on Capitol Hill.
"Mr. Salazar has broken and ignored American laws," said Tsuji.
She's furious Salazar was drunk behind the wheel and in this country illegally the day he took Alex away.
To her, what's worse is a plea bargain that would make him eligible in less than three years.
"That is the wrong message," she said. "It just says it's okay, and I don't think that's okay."
Tsuji said that the laws are failing to enforce immigration.
Some lawmakers are listening.
"This is clearly an example of what continues to occur, and will continue, until we start taking some strong measures in our states," said Sen. Bill Ketron, a Republican from Murfreesboro.
State lawmakers are already considering more than 50 new immigration bills this session alone.
Tsuji said she'll be doing her research, making sure Capitol Hill never forgets her story.
"Other countries they have different laws and they are stricter and from where my husband comes from, their laws are very strict about drinking and driving, and their immigration laws are very strict, too," Tsuji said.
Salazar is behind bars in Coffee County. He could be eligible for parole in less than three years.
Ivy Scarborough, the attorney representing the Tsujis, is already representing two other Tennessee families who have lost loved ones in crashes with people who authorities said were driving drunk and living in the United States illegally.


Teen Rape Victim's Mother Angry at System
Last Edited: Monday, 21 May 2007, 8:34 PM MDT
Created: Monday, 21 May 2007, 8:34 PM MDT

by Julie HaydenGREELEY --
The mother of a 13 year old rape victim says the legal system is bending over backwards to protect the two illegal aliens accused in the crime, at her daughter's expense.
The mother says it's not fair that her daughter has to miss school because defense attorneys demand she appear at routine court hearings. The young girl was required to appear at a motions hearing for 24 year old Eduardo Bocanegro.
He and 20 year old Apolinar Ortega-Valtierra are accused of kidnapping the girl in Greeley last September and of taking turns raping and sodomizing her. The mother says her daughter was traumatized by having to be in the same room as Bocanegro. "Right now, my daughter's in turmoil. She's having a hard time with everything.", Ruth says.
"She just wants it over and now she wishes she didn't come forward and say anything because she feels like she's the one being prosecuted instead of being the victim." Numerous motions mean the case will probably cost the girl a summer vacation to Disneyland and will intrude on her first days of high school. Prosecutors say there's nothing they can do. Ruth says, "Everybody in the court system, they're trying to accomodate these guys that hurt her."
Well, what about accomodating her? What about making sure that it gets done and it gets done accurately and it gets done fast so she can get on with her life."
Bocanegro's trial is currently set for the end of June. The other defendant's trial date has not yet been set, as he is claiming he is incompetent to stand trial.
Fox 31 received numerous calls and emails from caring viewers who want to help.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the family's recovery can do so by sending cash, check or a money order to:
Ruth's FundNorbel Credit Union1220 9th AvenueGreeley, Colorado 80631