Rape suspect detained by ICE outside court

Anastacio Eugenio Lopez Fabian

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a Seaside man Wednesday outside Clatsop County Circuit Court when he arrived for a hearing on rape charges.

Anastacio Eugenio Lopez Fabian, 24, allegedly had sex with a girl twice in 2016 when she was under 14 and three times when she was under 16. He was arrested by Seaside police in February after allegedly assaulting her and was released last week after posting $25,000 bail.

As a hearing was set to begin Wednesday, Kris Kaino, Fabian’s court-appointed attorney, alerted Judge Cindee Matyas that his client was not coming.

“ICE picked him up in the parking lot about 10 to 15 minutes ago,” Kaino said.

Deputy District Attorney Dawn Buzzard asked that the hearing “be held off until we know where he is.”

Both the hearing and an early resolution conference scheduled for May have been canceled.

District Attorney Josh Marquis said this is the second ICE arrest he’s heard of at the courthouse in the past six months.

“They don’t coordinate with us, and we don’t coordinate with them,” he said. “Obviously, if they’re whisked off and deported, they don’t usually coordinate with us.”

Maria Fabian, Fabian’s cousin, said Fabian is from Guatemala. Kaino met with her and two other family members after the hearing.

“We were trying to talk to him to see if he knew, but I don’t know,” Fabian said of the immigration detention.

Fabian’s arrest in February came after the alleged victim’s mother reported her as a runaway to Seaside police. Police found her at Fabian’s home, and she reported that she was unwilling to go to school that day after attending a party the night before.

Police learned of the alleged sex crimes while interviewing her. Fabian has been charged with two counts of second-degree rape, three counts of third-degree rape, fourth-degree assault and harassment.

Second-degree rape carries a mandatory minimum sentence of more than six years in prison.

“We have to resolve the case,” said Marquis, who differentiated serious cases from lower-level ones. “If it doesn’t get resolved, it may go on for years, at which point it’s harmful to the victim.”

ICE officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Astoria Police Chief Geoff Spalding said the federal agency told police beforehand about the arrest, which is a common practice.

The federal agency criticized Clatsop County last year for not cooperating with its requests to detain undocumented immigrants, saying such arrests would be safer at a jail than a courthouse. Sheriff Tom Bergin said at the time that his office — and all other sheriff’s offices in the state — were susceptible to lawsuits. The U.S. District Court in Portland previously ruled in favor of a woman detained by ICE at a Clackamas County jail, claiming the Fourth Amendment protected her against unreasonable search and seizure.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, and other lawmakers have proposed legislation to deter immigration arrests at sensitive locations such as courthouses, schools and health clinics. Some criminal justice experts believe such arrests push immigrants further into the margins, discouraging them from appearing for court, either as witnesses or defendants.

The Trump administration, however, has made immigration enforcement a priority and has urged states to cooperate with federal agents.

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