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President Trump warned back in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that we “cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” yet America is facing that very scenario as lockdowns drag on across the country.
Nowhere has this been more costly than in the rush to release criminals from jails, in an attempt to prevent further spreading of the coronavirus. With violent crime rising in one Democrat-run city after another, it’s a toss up in the eyes of many on whether this is due to the release of inmates or the fall out from the Black Lives Matter riots.
What’s not in dispute is the heinous outcome of a man awaiting trial on rape charges being released due to the pandemic allegedly killing his accuser while out.
Ibrahim Bouaichi was accused of raping Karla Dominguez in January and faced rape, sodomy, strangulation and abduction charges, according to The Washington Post. He was jailed without bond, but after his trial was delayed Bouaichi’s lawyers argued the virus was a danger to both inmates and their attorneys.
On April 9, over the objections of the local prosecutor, Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins released Bouaichi on $25,000 bond, with the condition that he only leave his Maryland home to meet with his lawyers or pretrial services officials, the newspaper reported.
On July 29, according to police, Bouaichi showed up at Dominguez’s Alexandria, Va., apartment and shot her dead — the woman was a native of Venezuela and reportedly does not have family in the U.S.
On Wednesday morning, Bouaichi was spotted in Prince George’s County by federal marshals and Alexandria police. A pursuit followed and after crashing, police found that the suspect had apparently shot himself.
As of Thursday, the 33-year-old suspect was reportedly in grave condition.
Attorneys Manuel Leiva and Frank Salvato said in their motion that “social distancing and proper disinfecting measures are impossible while incarcerated.… Simply put, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in a jail is exceedingly obvious.”
Citing “severe restrictions on visitation,” the lawyers claimed they could only have video conference sessions up to 30 minutes. Further noting a risk to themselves, they said lawyers seeking a contact visit would “expose themselves to contaminated air and surfaces.”
For what it’s worth, jail officials said there is no record of Leiva or Salvato requesting face-to-face visits.
“We have also provided video conferences in excess of 30 minutes,” Alexandria jail spokeswoman Amy Bertsch said. “However, we do not have any record of Mr. Leiva or his co-counsel requesting a face-to-face visit with Ibrahim Bouaichi after the protocols went into effect in late March.”
Bertsch also said that “there were no cases of COVID-19 at the jail during their client’s incarceration.”
Oh, and Judge Dawkins retired in June.
Not to worry though, the attorneys said in a statement they were “certainly saddened by the tragedy both families have suffered here.”
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