Trial Set In Rare Border Rape Case Prosecuted In Arizona Court

By Jude Joffe-Block
December 15, 2014

PHOENIX - The case of a Mexican man who agreed to plead guilty to raping a 14-year-old migrant girl is now heading to trial in Arizona's Santa Cruz county. 

Last December, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a group of migrants near Arivaca Road in Southern Arizona.

Fronteras Desk reported on this case earlier this year.

A 14-year-old girl said the smuggler guiding the group had raped her.

Jose Ramon Mancinas Flores was arrested. This fall, in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, he agreed to a plea deal that would mean five to 10 years in prison.

But the judge in the case rejected the plea deal, saying it was not harsh enough.

Mancinas Flores’ lawyer then tried to argue the case should be dismissed because the federal government deported other witnesses before they could be cross examined about whether the crime occurred on the Mexican or Arizonan side of the border.

The judge denied the motion and trial is now set for late January.

While rape is a known risk for women migrants, few of these cases are reported and prosecuted.