Baltimore Lawyer Allegedly Told Rape Victim She'd Be Deported If She Testified

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A Baltimore attorney is in deep water after allegedly pressuring an undocumented rape victim not to testify against his client by threatening her with deportation.

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Christos Vasiliades, a 39-year-old Greek man, was arrested last Tuesday for reportedly telling the woman and her husband they'd likely be deported if they appeared in court and offering them $3,000, from the defendant, for not testifying.

Both Vasiliades and Edgar Ivan Rodriguez, a Spanish-language interpreter, were charged with obstruction of justice and witness intimidation by threat and corrupt means.

The attorney was arraigned on Wednesday, pleading not guilty. Prosecutors “agreed to release him under pretrial supervision,” said Raquel Guillory Coombs, public information officer at the Maryland Attorney General’s office.

According to the indictment, Vasiliades reached out to the woman and her husband on April 11 to meet and discuss the case, which he said had become “more complicated.” He made the offer during their first encounter. In a follow-up meeting, the woman wore a device that recorded the conversation.

“You know how things are with Trump’s laws now; someone goes to court, and boom, they get taken away,” Rodriguez allegedly said.

The plan entailed the couple not showing up to court. In their absence, Vasiliades would be able to get the case thrown out. Once that was done, Rodriguez would be outside the courthouse to hand over the money.

Vasiliades also encouraged the wife and husband to seek out his client, Mario Aguilar-Delossantos, who is facing felony rape charges, and "kick his ass."

“If we were back home where I’m from, from Greece ... we would go f*ck him up, that’s it, if you want to do that, that’s fine,” the lawyer said, according to the indictment.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh condemned the alleged bribing, noting that Vasiliades and Rodriguez took advantage of the “climate of fear” that exists under the Trump administration.

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“This case, I think, illustrates the folly of that kind of policy,” Frosh told Mic. “It takes an enormous amount of courage for a rape victim to step forward and report a rape, and it takes even more courage for somebody who might be deported to step forward and report a crime.”