No rape, no wife purchase, but man deported

A 23-year-old man originally accused of attempting to rape a woman he purchased in Mexico is not guilty of either an attempted sex crime or buying the young woman from her family, according to both the defense and prosecution.

Nonetheless, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will deport Miguel Alvarez de Jesus back to Mexico since he was living in Coupeville illegally.

De Jesus recently pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to assault in the fourth degree, a domestic violence charge. According to Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme, a charge of attempted rape in the second degree was dismissed after he interviewed the woman himself.

“She indicated he assaulted her because she said no to his request for sex,” Ohme said. He explained that De Jesus didn’t try to force the woman to have sex, but let her leave the home after kicking her and ripping her clothes.

The case made TV news in Seattle, after the News-Times broke the story, because of an allegation in the affidavit of probable cause. It states that the 18-year-old woman claimed, through a translator, that De Jesus had purchased her from her father for 30,000 pesos.

Again, Ohme said the woman’s story was different when he spoke to her. The woman told the deputy prosecutor that she ran off with De Jesus and it wasn’t until later that he paid a dowry, Ohme said. De Jesus and his wife are Trique, who are indigenous people from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The practice of dowries and teenaged marriages are part of their customs.

De Jesus’ attorney, Darrin Hall of Coupeville, agrees with Ohme’s assessment of the case. Hall said that his client didn’t try to rape the young woman; De Jesus completely denied that he bought his wife.

“I’m pretty sure that was completely fabricated by someone involved in the case,” Hall said.

But Hall acknowledged it was clear that “an assault in the fourth degree happened that day.”

Hall said the fact that De Jesus speaks only Trique would have made a trial difficult. It’s a rare language that only 12,000 to 20,000 people in the world can speak, court documents state. The court had to use both a Spanish translator and a non-certified Trique translator, who spoke over a speakerphone, during a court hearing.

Ohme said the victim agreed with the outcome of the case. De Jesus was sentenced to 97 days in jail, which was the time he already served awaiting trial.

While De Jesus is being deported, his wife is going through the process to be able to stay in the U.S. legally with her children. She has an attorney in Seattle who is working on her immigration case, Ohme reported.

According to court documents, Deputy Robert Mirabal with the Coupeville Marshal’s Office and a state trooper responded to a report of a domestic assault at a trailer park on Terry Road in the early morning on April 10. De Jesus and his wife lived in a trailer with their two small children and another tenant.

The officers found the victim at a neighbor’s house and she reported that De Jesus had assaulted her. The deputy sent the case to the prosecutor’s office as a fourth-degree assault.

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