Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Federal deputy arrested in sexual assault case after immunity removed

Saúl Huerta, the federal deputy accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, is in custody after voluntarily surrendering to police early Thursday morning.

The Morena party legislator, who represents a district in Puebla, allegedly raped the boy in a Mexico City hotel in April. Huerta was briefly arrested after the boy reported the assault but was released just a few hours later due to his congressional immunity.

After numerous delays, Huerta’s immunity was revoked on August 11. The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office requested a warrant for his arrest the same day. But then another problem came up: although Huerta was considered a flight risk and authorities were monitoring his movements, they lost track of him.

Finally, authorities and Huerta’s legal representatives agreed to his surrender to police at a place of his choice, a building in the Roma Sur neighborhood of Mexico City. He was arrested on the charge of rape, but also faces accusations of aggravated sexual abuse.

Later Thursday afternoon, Huerta appeared before a judge who ruled that the accused will go to trial and remain in custody for the next three months, during which time an investigation of the alleged crimes will be carried out.

The defense did not object to the judge’s ruling, saying that they too seek time to investigate and find evidence for Huerta’s defense. Defense lawyer Rafael Castillo added that at one point the victim’s family asked for money, a point that the team believes could play in their client’s favor.

“They made an economic petition for 1.32 million pesos [US $65,000] for what had happened, so I think we can see the victim’s intention in this matter,” Castillo said.

For his part, the victim said in a May interview that he seeks justice.

“What I want right now is justice. All I want is for there to be no more victims,” the boy said.

With reports from Milenio

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