Update: Alleged Child Rapist’s Case Under Appeal for Dismissal – Stating “Improper Decision to Dismiss” as State felt accused understood English therefore did not need an interpreter

1:45PM 7/23/07

The following information was given today at a news conference on Fox News.

Fox News aired the news conference when State’s Attorney John McCarthy reported his office was appealing the court’s decision of dismissing this case on the grounds that it was an “improper decision” to dismiss the case due to lack of finding an interpreter and in doing so delayed the accused’s right to a speedy trial. 

The reason for this is the fact the accused does speak English.  He sought assylum here in the states where he attended and graduated from high school and continued on to community college for 2 years.  It is the law you can not graduate from high school without being able to speak English.  Since the accused could speak English the court was wrong in delaying the trial for 3 years while trying to find an interpreter.   Even after one had stepped forward just recently the judge still dismissed the case. 

The terrible part is if this case is not allowed to be brought back to trial this could set a precedent for many immigrants whose native language is NOT English.

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Alleged Child Rapist Goes Free Because Court Can’t Find Interpreter

Md. Judge Dismisses Sex-Abuse Charges

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is without a doubt one of the worst, if not THE worst case, that shows the quality or “lack of” in our judicial system to allow something as horrible as this to occur.  Not only did it allow this to occur but in my mind this may very well have set a precedent for anyone where English is not their native language. 

Washington Post – Full story 

A 7-year-old girl said she had been raped and repeatedly molested over the course of a year. Police in Montgomery County, acting on information from a relative, soon arrested a Liberian immigrant living in Gaithersburg. They marshaled witnesses and DNA evidence to prepare for trial.

What was missing — for much of the nearly three years that followed — was an interpreter fluent in the suspect’s native language. A judge recently dropped the charges, not because she found that Mahamu Kanneh had been wrongly accused but because repeated delays in the case had, in her view, violated his right to a speedy trial.

“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in a long time,” Katherine D. Savage said from the bench Tuesday, noting that she was mindful of “the gravity of this case and the community’s concern about offenses of this type.”

Loretta E. Knight, the Circuit Court clerk responsible for finding interpreters, said her office searched exhaustively for a speaker of Vai, a tribal language spoken in West Africa.

[Kanneh was granted asylum in the United States, according to State’s Attorney John McCarthy. A conviction could have led to deportation proceedings.]

[Kanneh was arrested in August 2004 after witnesses told police that he raped and repeatedly sexually molested the girl, a relative.

In a charging document, Detective Omar Hasan wrote that the girl “attempted to physically stop the behavior from the defendant, but was unsuccessful.” Hasan wrote that Kanneh threatened the young girl “with not being able to leave the apartment unless she engaged in sexual behavior with the defendant.”]                                                                                                          

Woman Who Posed As Boy Pleads Guilty

Published: May 10, 2007

Filed at 11:30 a.m. ET

“I know there are sick people out there but reality never sets in until reading articles like this.”

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A woman who posed as an homeless orphaned boy, befriended a teenage girl and was taken into her family’s home has pleaded guilty to child molestation.

Prosecutors say they would seek the maximum one-year jail term for Lorelei J. Corpuz, 30, who entered her plea Wednesday. Charges of third-degree child rape were dropped last month.

Authorities said Corpuz, who cropped her hair and stands 5-foot-3, passed herself off as 17-year-old Mark Villanueva after meeting the girl at a mall in September 2005. Her parents, immigrants who speak little English, later let Corpuz live at their home.

The deception became known after a traffic stop led to Corpuz’s arrest on an unrelated warrant. The girl was in the car and told police that Corpuz was her boyfriend, according to documents filed in court.

Although Corpuz had sexual contact with the girl, ”the suspect never let victim see her/his private parts and victim always thought that suspect was male until officer informed her otherwise,” Police Officer Don de Nevens wrote. The girl also said Corpuz beat her and bit her twice on the back, leaving a scar.

The girl and her family were not in court Wednesday. Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roe said they were relieved by the outcome of the case, which drew wide attention.

”They just want to be left alone. Being a victim of a felony sex offense should not turn you into a sideshow,” Roe said.

Sentencing was set for June 18.

After serving her sentence, Corpuz must register as a sex offender, and she remains under investigation for fraud and other sex offenses, including accusations in Kitsap County that closely resemble the Everett case, authorities said.

In that case, detectives looked into whether Corpuz had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Bremerton girl three years ago.

That girl gave a nearly identical account of what happened in Everett — someone posing as an orphan named Mark and being allowed to move into her home, Deputy Scott Wilson said.

Information source: The New York Times