LOS ANGELES » An immigrant in the country illegally who is a registered sex offender is charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after being freed on bond by the judge overseeing his deportation proceedings, authorities said Tuesday.
Keane Dean, 26, was placed in immigration detention in October after serving time for burglary and indecent exposure, and immigration officials are seeking to have him deported for being in the country illegally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
He was denied bond in December but released in April after posting a $10,000 bond granted by an immigration judge at a hearing mandated by the federal courts, ICE said.
Dean, who is from the Philippines, was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles County after a teenage girl reported missing by her parents was found in his garage. The girl told deputies she had been befriended by Dean a day earlier at the grocery store and he had sexually assaulted her, authorities said.
Dean has pleaded not guilty to two felony sex charges. He is due back in court Aug. 18. A message was left for public defender Irv Rubin, who prosecutors said was listed as his lawyer.
The case comes amid a national uproar over the fatal shooting July 1 of a woman on a San Francisco pier after authorities said the suspect had been repeatedly deported and was released from jail despite immigration agents’ attempts to keep him in custody. On Tuesday, the woman’s father told lawmakers in Washington that he supports changing laws that enabled the man to remain in the country. The House will consider a related bill later this week.
In this instance, Dean was not released by local police but by federal immigration agents after winning bond. He was placed on GPS monitoring and required to report monthly to immigration authorities and until his arrest had complied with the terms of his release, ICE said.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said the problem is deportation proceedings take too long. He urged Congress to streamline the process.
"There needs to be quicker, more expeditious removal of people who don’t belong here," said Krikorian, who wants stricter limits on immigration.
A series of federal court rulings have found that immigrants can’t be detained indefinitely without a bond hearing, and some courts have ruled that a hearing be held after six months of detention.
That was the case for Dean, who was denied bond at a December hearing in immigration court but won at a hearing in April.
It was not clear what changed between the two hearings. A spokeswoman for the immigration courts declined to comment on the decision and said she could only release information about the case with Dean’s personal identifying information.
In states covered by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, immigrants can’t be held more than six months without a hearing. But those in the greater Los Angeles area who get hearings early on are also entitled to a second shot at winning bond if they are still detained after six months. That point is the focus of oral arguments in a case before the federal appeals court in Pasadena later this week, said Ahilan Arulanantham, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
Granting the bond hearings has let thousands of people be reunited with their families while their immigration cases were pending, Arulanantham said.
"We do not abandon due process and detain people after they have finished serving their criminal sentences, except in very rare circumstances," he said. "To abandon that basic due-process principle because a few people who are released then commit other crimes would be a terrible mistake."