A once-deported illegal immigrant accused of raping a Massachusetts college student is on the run, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Luis Baez, 34, also known as Pedro Valentin, has fled town after a state judge released the Dominican national on $2,500 bail — despite requests from the state prosecutor to set bail at $100,000, and despite ICE’s request to place an immigration detainer on him.
During Baez’s bail hearing, defense attorney John Benzan assured Newton District Court Judge Mary Beth Heffernan that Baez would not be a flight risk, according to courtroom audio.
“With respect to bail and whether he is going to run,” Benzan said, “every day of eight months (since the alleged rape), he was presented with an opportunity to run, knowing that some young woman from Boston College had accused him of rape, and he didn’t go.”
Baez, who prosecutors said was known to local law enforcement to have prior ties with the Mozart Street Gang, went missing three days later, according to ICE.
Although law enforcement typically releases mugshots of fugitives to the media in order to enlist the public in helping capture alleged criminals, the Newton, MA police department on Thursday refused to release the images of Baez.
The Newton City Council voted in February to make the city a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.
Despite the Newton Police Department’s refusal to provide the media with an image of Baez, the Howie Carr Show has obtained Baez’s mugshot as well as the photo on the Rhode Island driver’s license he obtained under the alias Pedro Valentin.
Judge Heffernan was appointed by former Democrat Gov. Deval Patrick.