An alleged rapist killed his accuser after being released from jail over concerns he and his lawyers would contract coronavirus.
According to the Washington Post, Ibrahim Bouaichi hunted and killed his accuser, Karla Dominguez, after being released from jail because of concerns the Wuhan coronavirus would put Bouaichi and his lawyers at risk of falling ill. Bouaichi was indicted on charges of rape, strangulation, and abduction after Dominguez, a native of Venezuela, told law enforcement in Alexandria, Va., that he sexually assaulted her in October.
Eleven days after his indictment, Bouaichi turned himself into authorities, and a judge ordered him to be held without bond. Bouaichi’s lawyers requested bond, arguing their client could not be safe from the Wuhan virus because it was “impossible” to provide adequate social distancing and other safety measures behind bars. The men added that the arrangement also put them at risk, explaining that lawyers seeking a contact visit would “also expose themselves to contaminated air and surfaces.”
Jail spokeswoman Amy Bertsch pointed out that the jail implemented increased cleaning and health screening in early March “and there were no cases of covid-19 at the jail during their client’s incarceration.”
Despite objections from an Alexandria prosecutor and Virginia law that states those charged with certain violent crimes like rape are presumed to be a danger and not eligible for bond, Bouaichi’s lawyers successfully argued that he be released on a $25,000 bond. Bouaichi was released with the condition that he only leave his Maryland home, where he lives with his parents, to meet with lawyers or pretrial services officials.
On July 29, Alexandria police say Bouaichi returned to Alexandria and shot and killed Dominguez outside her apartment in the city’s West End. Alexandria police said they received a report of gunshots on July 29, at 6:20 am. Authorities found Dominguez outside her apartment, dead with multiple wounds on her upper body.
Police issued a video news release asking for the public’s help in locating Bouaichi. A week later, on Wednesday morning, federal marshals and Alexandria police sighted Bouaichi and pursued him in a car chase that ended in Bouaichi’s car crashing. Authorities found Bouaichi in the wreck with an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound. On Friday, Bouaichi was listed in critical condition at a Virginia hospital.
The tragic slaying could have been prevented if local authorities had revoked Bouiachi’s bond when on May 8th he was arrested for allegedly ramming a K-9 officer’s vehicle in Greenbelt. Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter told reporters that local authorities there were not notified of the charges Bouiachi faced. If they were, they would have tried to revoke his bond, Porter said.
Bouiachi was charged with first-degree assault, harming a law enforcement dog, and other counts, and was released May 11.
So far, little is known about Dominguez, who police told reporters was a native of Venezuela and did not have family in this country. A GoFundMe fundraiser has raised over $6,000 to cover Dominguez’ funeral costs.
Since the pandemic panic, leaders on the left have advocated for the release of thousands of incarcerated people in order to keep prisoners from being infected. On Thursday, Fox News reported that California is on track to release a total of 17,600 inmates.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) told a Fox News reporter, “in total, 8,032 [inmates] have had their releases expedited and overall, we have reduced the total incarcerated population by more than 18,300 since March as a result of suspension of county jail intake, the expedited releases”.
Bouiachi’s lawyers, who valued their own safety over Dominguez, said in a statement they were “certainly saddened by the tragedy both families have suffered here,” despite it being unknown whether the Dominguez family is even aware she was slaughtered. The lawyers also said they “were looking forward to trial. Unfortunately the pandemic continued the trial date by several months and we didn’t get the chance to put forth our case.”