Man convicted of child rape in Mexico hid past to gain US citizenship

A North Carolina man convicted in Mexico of raping a mentally disabled child hid his criminal past from immigration officials in order to gain U.S. citizenship — and now it’s catching up with him, according to the Department of Justice.

J. Refugio Gomez-Juarez, 51, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, for failing to disclose his prior conviction — the second degree forcible rape of a mentally disabled child — during naturalization proceedings, officials say. After he was naturalized, Gomez-Juarez “fraudulently obtained multiple United States passports,” according to the 11-count indictment.

If convicted, he’s facing a maximum of a 25-year prison sentence, $250,000 USD fine for each count, and his U.S. citizenship will be revoked.

Robert Higdon, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced the indictment.

The case is being investigated by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations agents, and Homeland Security Investigations, as part of a larger operation to “identify and prosecute felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship,” the DOJ release said.

Source: Sacramento Bee

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