Rape suspect released from Virginia prison because of COVID allegedly murdered his accuser

Rape suspect released from Virginia prison because of COVID allegedly murdered his accuser

Ibrahim E. Bouaichi was accused of rape last year by a woman named Karla Dominguez. Bouaichi was indicted by a grand jury for “rape, sodomy, strangulation, abduction and burglary.” His trial date was set for March 30 and he was in jail when the coronavirus hit. His attorneys argued that being jailed was a threat to his health as well as theirs when they went to visit him, though the jail said the attorneys hadn’t made any attempts to visit him once the coronavirus restrictions were put in place. The attorneys also claimed that because of restrictions on the duration of video calls to their client he was effectively being deprived of counsel:

In Alexandria, Bouaichi’s lawyers said in their motion for bond that “social distancing and proper disinfecting measures are impossible while incarcerated.… Simply put, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in a jail is exceedingly obvious.” The lawyers, Manuel Leiva and Frank Salvato, also noted the risk for themselves in the jail, saying that lawyers seeking a contact visit would “also expose themselves to contaminated air and surfaces.”

Leiva and Salvato also claimed that the Alexandria jail had “imposed severe restrictions on visitation since the Covid-19 outbreak,” that all contact visits (meaning no glass or separation between visitor and inmate) were stopped and that the lawyers could only have video conference sessions lasting 30 minutes maximum. A trial date was set for Bouaichi, and his lawyers said he was “being effectively deprived of legal counsel.”

The prosecutor in the case argued that because of the violent nature of the crime, Bouaichi was too dangerous to release. But Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins sided with the defense and released Bouaichi on $25,000 bond and a condition that he not leave his home in Maryland except to meet with his attorneys. That was on April 9.

On May 8, police were called to a Wendy’s and found a possibly intoxicated Bouaichi in his car. He was uncooperative and rammed into a police car with one officer and one K-9 inside. He was arrested and claimed he had a medical issue. But after a detour to the hospital he was charged with two counts of assault and multiple other charges relating to the incident.

And then, on May 11, he was released. Authorities in Alexandria say they didn’t know he’d been re-arrested in Maryland and say that if they had they would have revoked his bond. That turned out to be the last chance for Karla Dominguez. She was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds outside her apartment:

On Wednesday, July 29, officers found a woman shot to death on S. Greenmount Drive. It was Alexandria’s first homicide of the year. The victim was later identified as Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez…

On Wednesday, August 5, one week after Gonzalez was killed, Alexandria police officers with the FBI’s regional Violent Crimes Task Force spotted Bouaichi in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

When authorities chased him, Bouaichi crashed the car he was driving. He was found inside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Assuming he survives, Bouaichi will be headed back to jail, this time facing a murder charge. Will they let him out this time? I wish I could say no with certainty but who knows what idiot judge might get the case this time.

Speaking of which, Judge Nolan Dawkins, who released Bouaichi over the objection of prosecutors who warned he was dangerous, retired in June after 12 years on the circuit court. The Post notes “He did not respond to a request for comment.” Officially that’s because this is a pending case and he’s not supposed to comment. Unofficially, I hope that it’s because he’s deeply ashamed that his stupidity gave an allegedly violent rapist a chance to allegedly murder his victim.

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