Published July 24, 2013
Immigration detainers have been placed against two Mexican men charged in the rape of a 13-year-old runaway Texas girl in an apartment where as many as 10 men allegedly filmed the attacks with cellphone cameras.
Juan Lozano Ortega, 24, and Edgar Gerardo Guzman Perez, 26, were charged last week with aggravated sexual assault of a child in the alleged June 29 attacks, which began after the girl ran away from an Austin group home for children and entered a car with three unknown men, according to an arrest affidavit.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials lodged immigration detainers against Ortega and Perez on July 18 following their arrests by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, ICE officials confirmed to FoxNews.com. They remain held on $30,000 bond in Travis County Jail. Both are due back in court on Aug. 15. A call seeking comment from Ortega’s attorney was not returned. No attorney information was listed for Perez, county officials said.
An immigration detainer, according to ICE’s website, is a notice issued by the Department of Homeland Security to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to notify those departments that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual believed to be illegally residing in the United States.
The detainers are critical for ICE officials to “identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens” currently in federal, state or local custody, the website reads.
Investigators were led to Ortega and Perez because one of them let the 13-year-old girl use their cellphone after dropping her off in a neighborhood and telling her to “find somewhere to go,” court documents read. The victim then called her foster brother, who refused to come pick her up, and his call ID captured the number of the suspect’s phone.
Doctors who examined the girl told investigators that their findings were consistent with her allegations, court records show.
Austin police officials told FoxNews.com that a third man, Donald Ray Lewis, 49, also has been arrested in the incident. Lewis, according to an arrest affidavit, assaulted the girl hours after the original attack. Investigators said the girl left the apartment where the initial assault took place and went to “smoke crack” with a woman she just met at another nearby apartment on June 30. The victim met Lewis at that apartment, the affidavit said.
The victim stayed at the apartment for several days, ultimately leaving on July 2. She endured other assaults during that span, the affidavit states.
A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family Protective Services told the Austin American-Statesman that she could not discuss specifics about the unidentified teen.
“But I can tell you while she’s in the state’s care, all of her needs are being met,” spokeswoman Julie Moody told the newspaper.
Moody told the newspaper last week that the department was probing whether the Settlement for Children, where the girl lived, was following supervision standards. The center reported the girl missing on June 30, Moody said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.