A man who had already been deported three times from the U.S. is facing a child sexual assault charge in Cleveland, Ohio.
Antonio Barrera from Mexico has been accused of sexually assaulting a child relative on Cleveland’s east side in December 2017, reported Fox 8, citing police. Felony sex charges against Barrera are now pending in Cuyahoga County Court.
The victim’s mother told Fox 8 on Thursday, April 5, that Barrera had been living with them and that all his relatives knew about his past.
“Yes, we all knew he didn’t have papers,” the woman said. She did not want to be identified.
She said that she walked in on the attack and wants Barrera to get the punishment for the alleged crime.
“I want him to serve time and not just walk away free,” she told the news station.
Two handwritten letters written in English and signed with the name Antonio Barrera were submitted to the court. According to Fox 8, one of the letters asked for drug treatment instead of prison, while another asked for a trial. Both letters talked about Mexico.
“I want to take my case to a jury trial then go home to Mexico, no more under the tunnels,” one of the letters apparently said, reported the news station.
Judge Nancy Russo who handles sex crime cases asked during the hearing on Thursday why the court was receiving the letters in English when Barrera did not speak any English. When asked, Barrera said through his defense attorney that he was not able to give the name of the person who wrote the letters for him.
Russo said the court would not consider the letters.
According to the news station, records show that there are talks about a guilty plea. No further details about the alleged sexual assault have been reported.
Barrera will likely be taken into custody by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after the case. He may possibly be charged with federal offenses for returning to the U.S. illegally.
Between 2007 and 2008, Barrera was deported to Mexico three times, according to ICE.