Charges dropped in assault case against illegal immigrants

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FRAMINGHAM – Charges against four illegal immigrants from Guatemala, arrested in connection with an alleged kidnapping and rape, were dropped Thursday in Framingham District Court, according to multiple news reports.

The men will be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities, the Boston Herald reported.

All the charges against the men would be dropped, Joseph Gentile, an assistant Middlesex district attorney, told the court at a hearing Thursday, citing insufficient evidence, WFXT-TV said on its website. Gentile also cited “issues” with the victims’ statements, the station reported.

The victims planned to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination if called to testify in the case, Gentile told the court, the Herald reported.

Two of the four men had previously been deported, and two had previously been arrested for drunken driving, yet federal immigration officials said they weren’t notified of the arrests, according to various reports after the four were charged in connection with the alleged assault in Framingham. Adan Diaz, 32, was arrested for drunken driving on Feb. 22, while his brother Ariel Diaz, 24, was charged with the same crime in December, the Herald reported.

A third, Marlon Josue Jarquin-Felipe, 27, was deported to Guatemala in April 2014 and Ariel Diaz had been deported in May 2014 after being convicted of drunken driving and disorderly conduct, Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, told the Herald. A third Diaz brother, Elmer, 19, was also arrested in the alleged assault incident.

News of the arrests sparked a fresh round of debate on so-called sanctuary city policies, although Framingham isn’t recognized as having officially taken that position, in which the legal status of suspects is ignored. Last August, Lawrence became the seventh Bay State municipality to formally adopt the policy, joining Cambridge, Chelsea, Northampton, Orleans, Somerville and Springfield.

Sanctuary city policies ban police from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. Some cities, like Worcester, don’t formally refer to themselves as sanctuary cities although their policing policies suggest otherwise. Framingham also has policies in place that prohibit police from inquiring about immigration status.

Elmer Diaz had been charged with rape, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit a crime, according to the Metrowest Daily News in Framingham, while Ariel Diaz was charged with kidnapping, indecent assault and battery on a person older than 14, threatening to commit a crime, witness intimidation, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unarmed robbery and assault and battery.

Adan Diaz and Jarquin-Felipe both faced charges of indecent assault and battery on a person older than 14 and kidnapping by force, according to the Framingham newspaper.