One criminal charge was traded for another as a teenager accused in a Lindsay area rape is instead in federal custody for an immigration issue.
The rape allegation faced by 18-year-old Edgar Gonzalez Batres since this past spring was dismissed and replaced this week with a kidnapping count in Garvin County District Court.
That case didn't really get any traction as Batres, quick to accept a plea deal, was sentenced to a lengthy suspended sentence before being taken away on a hold by ICE, which is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ben Betts, an assistant district attorney in Garvin County, said the facts of the case against Batres led to a change in charges.
“We dismissed the rape charge because we didn't have enough evidence to prove the case,” Betts told the PV Democrat.
The dismissed first-degree rape allegation was replaced with a kidnapping charge quickly followed by a plea deal on July 30.
“The new charge was filed on a factual basis for kidnapping,” he said, adding the victim was “highly” intoxicated when the incident occurred leaving the case with some unanswered questions.
Those questions didn't play a major role in the case as Batres pleaded no contest to the kidnapping charge. He was sentenced to a 20-year prison term with all of it suspended.
Just two weeks earlier a hearing for Batres was postponed because an interpreter was not available.
After this week's proceeding Batres was released into the custody of federal agents on an ICE related matter.
Betts was quick to add he didn't know any specifics or why there was an ICE hold on Batres.
“Immigration customs had a hold on him and they'll deal with that,” he said.
In was back in early April when Lindsay police were contacted about the alleged sexual assault.
The woman said Batres and a friend initially joined her for some alcoholic beverages at her Lindsay residence.
She alleged Batres later returned to the house, pushed her to the ground and pulled down her pants, while covering her mouth and threatening her children if she didn't stop screaming.
The woman told authorities she blacked out when the alleged rape began.
After Batres was formally charged he was given a $500,000 bond keeping him locked up in Garvin County jail since his arrest.