Charge: Accused rapist used immigration status to intimidate victim
SEATTLE - A woman who was living in North Seattle after being released from federal immigration detention was raped by the man supplying her with food and shelter, according to a charge filed last week.
The woman entered the United States from Mexico with her two children, ages 1 and 4, to seek asylum, she reportedly told authorities through a translator. She had just been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention in Texas when she moved to Washington state in September.
After settling with a family friend in December, she says the man on whom her family relied for survival raped her in front of her child and then used her immigration status to intimidate her.
Raul Hernandez, 55, is charged with second-degree rape for the attack that allegedly occurred Dec. 30.
The woman reported the incident Jan. 1 to Shoreline police, where Seattle police officers responded and helped her onto an ambulance to Harborview Medical Center for a sexual assault examination.
She told police that Hernandez provided her family with food and housing and she cooked and cleaned in exchange, according to the police report.
The night of Dec. 30, she and her children were watching a movie with Hernandez when Hernandez reportedly said, "We need to celebrate" and went to the store. He allegedly returned with juice and vodka, mixed a drink and handed it to the woman.
After she finished the drink, he reportedly made a different kind of cocktail. After three sips, the woman said she "felt really dizzy" and didn't remember anything that happened afterward other than going to the bathroom and falling down. She claimed that Hernandez helped her sit down and at one point, helped her to her bedroom.
The woman awoke the next morning to find her underpants on the wrong way, smelling of vomit and her infant lying on her chest. She felt pain, burning and swelling below her waist, according to the police report.
When she confronted Hernandez, saying "the juice hurt her," he denied any wrongdoing, court records say.
The woman was sick throughout the day.
After coming home from a New Year's Eve party with her children later that night, Hernandez moved in to hug her kids, but she blocked him from doing so, reports indicate. A short time later, the 4-year-old child told her mother that she saw Hernandez naked on top of her as she was face down on her bed.
Hernandez reportedly noticed the girl watching and scolded her for catching him. He allegedly told her to go back to the living room and watch the movie.
The woman gathered her clothes in a garbage back and collected her bed sheets and the clothing she wore at the time of the suspected attack. She left the wipes she used to clean the vomit outside.
She told detectives she was afraid of reporting the attack because Hernandez told her that "her word doesn't matter because she's an immigrant," according to the police report. He allegedly said "no one would believe her."
The woman sought shelter with social services and, upon reporting the incident to police, handed over all the keys she had to her house.
A detective interviewed Hernandez days later under the ruse that the woman had gone missing. Police searched his home to find dried fluids on the wall next to the woman's bed that had puddled onto the floor, according to court records. They also found the bag of used wipes outside that the woman described.
When the detective told Hernandez they were investigating a rape, he "laughed and shook his head." The detective arrested him.
The 4-year-old told a forensic interviewer that her mother "threw up" and that Hernandez "slept" with her.
"My mommy was saying, 'No' to him," she reportedly claimed.
Hernandez was released on bail Jan. 9.
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