Sunday, September 8, 2019

Instead of prosecuting alleged child rapist, charges dropped, in part because of possible deportation

From The Journal

RACINE — Two men accused of raping the same 12-year-old girl have had charges brought against them in the past year, and each faced a maximum sentence of at least 60 years in prison. They also are facing deportation.

One of their cases was dismissed in March in part because the suspect, 38-year-old Juan Ramon-Pacheco, was likely going to be deported to Mexico, according to court documents reviewed by The Journal Times, although he  remains in jail as of Friday.

The other suspect, Lorenzo Bernabe-Lucas, 29, who allegedly impregnated the 12-year-old, was charged Wednesday with first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. He is being held in the Racine County Jail on an immigration detainer, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling confirmed.

Dismissing the first case

Despite "a fair amount of reluctance" from Racine Circuit Court Judge Mark Nielsen, he approved the Racine County District Attorney’s Office request to dismiss charges against Ramon-Pacheco on March 22.

Nielsen, while dismissing the two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, characterized the motion to dismiss the case thusly: “This defendant (Ramon-Pacheco) is going to be deported and won’t be our problem,” he said, according to a court transcript. “(It) simply makes our problem, Mexico’s problem, I suppose.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detainee locator indicates Ramon-Pacheco has not yet been deported and was being held at the Kenosha County Detention Center as of Friday.

Bernabe-Lucas is from Guatemala and had entered the U.S. illegally, according to Shawn Neudauer, a public affairs officer for ICE. Ramon-Pacheco is a Mexican national.

Nielsen said he wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to dismiss the charges, but deferred to the judgment of the District Attorney’s Office and approved the motion anyway.

“I have seen a lot weaker cases proceed to trial,” Nielsen said on March 22. “I am trying to understand why (the prosecutor) wants me to dismiss other than the fact that the gentleman will be deported ... In this case: an accusation of sexual assault of a child. You appear to have a fair amount of pretty clear evidence that he committed these crimes.”

Representing the state via the District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo argued that by dropping the charges, even if Ramon-Pacheco were considered to be a danger, public safety wouldn't be at risk considering Ramon-Pacheco could be deported. As of Friday, Ramon-Pacheco was still being held at Kenosha County Jail, more than five months after charges against him were dropped.

"He will be subject to deportation proceedings. He has been in custody for a substantial period of time here," Donohoo said on March 22. "Given all of that, I believe that it is in the best interests of the victim and it does not harm the public that this case be dismissed at this time."

The District Attorney’s Office has not replied to requests for comment on this story.

After Nielsen questioned Donohoo on why weaknesses weren’t revealed “long ago” — Ramon-Pacheco had been in custody since Sept. 12, 2018 — Donohoo said that she doubted a jury would convict, despite having testimony from the victim saying that Ramon-Pacheco had raped her multiple times.

Nielsen dismissed the case with “a fair amount of reluctance,” he said, partially because he didn’t feel deportation would be effective in protecting the public.

“I have a fair amount of experience from my prior federal practice with how effective deportation is, which is to say that generally means they won’t be back for months,” Nielsen said before dismissing the case on March 22, according to the court transcript. “But why are we dismissing this case? … I mean, it’s a sexual assault of a child.”

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This is why Racine is a toilet: ineffectual, wishy-washy judges who always side with the criminals.  As Nielsen said himself, this guy will be back in months.  Then he will rape more children.  What a fucked up judiciary.  Our judges should be rounded up and deported.

1 comment:

legal stranger said...

This appears to be a very bad decision by both D.A.Patricia Hanson and Judge Nielsen.
What type of society have we become if we do not protect our children?