January 30, 2013
The trial of an Iraqi man accused of brutally raping a woman was put on hold until April after a judge ruled that some evidence was improperly obtained by police investigators, an attorney said Wednesday.
Fourth Judicial District Judge Theresa M. Cisneros ruled the evidence inadmissable in the case against Jasim Mohammed Hasin Ramadon, 20, before his trial began, said attorney Phil Dubois, who is defending another man involved in the case. The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office appealed Cisneros’ decision, pushing the case to Denver for consideration.
The Colorado Supreme Court has 90 days to review Cisneros’ ruling, derailing the plans for back-to-back trials for the men charged in the sexual assault.
Ramadon’s trial was reset for mid-April, pending the state Supreme Court’s decision, Cisneros said Wednesday.
His trial has garnered attention across the country because of his personal story. The son of an Iraqi Army officer, Ramadon became an informant and helped Fort Carson soldiers hunt down his father, among others. Army 1st Sgt. Daniel Hendrex helped Ramadon immigrate to the United States in 2004. The story about Ramadon, who also goes by Jay Hendrex, is detailed in Hendrex’s book “A Soldier’s Promise.”
Ramadon is among five Iraqi men arrested in the violent July assault that left a woman bleeding profusely from life-threatening wounds. Ramadon and Sarmad Fadhi Mohammed, 26, were expected to accuse each other of raping the woman while she was unconscious in Mohammed’s apartment.
In court on Tuesday, Mohammed waived his right to a speedy trial, giving the court an additional six months to try him, and he is expected to go to trial in March.
Mustafa Sataar Al Feraji, who authorities say watched as the woman was raped but didn’t stop it, had his trial pushed to Feb. 26, Dubois said.
Ali Mohammed Hasan Al Juboori, who prosecutors allege later helped his friends clean blood in the apartment, accepted a plea bargain Monday, and will testify in the other trials.
The trial for Yasir Jabbar Jasim, 21, charged as an accessory to the assault, began this week. After jury selection Tuesday, testimony began Wednesday. Jasim, who is no longer being held in the El Paso County jail, was dressed in a suit and listened to the evidence with the help of an Arabic translator.
Anthony Miller, a neighbor of the victim, testifed that he was awoken on the night of July 22 by a commotion at a nearby apartment. Later, Miller was called to his door by a “feeling,” he said, that someone was standing on his porch. He found a woman, trying to escape from an unknown man’s grasp on her arm, Miller said. He let the woman, who he didn’t recognize, into his apartment and was shocked by what he saw, he said.
“As soon as I turned around, I couldn’t believe it. It was my neighbor,” he said. “As soon as I looked at her I could tell that she was not herself. I tried to smell if she was drunk. I could see that she was under the influence of some drug or narcotic.”
The Gazette generally withholds the name of sex assault victims.
The woman was covered in blood from the waist down, Miller said. She had blood running down her legs, dripping onto her white sneakers and pooling on Miller’s leather couch cushion, where she was sitting. Miller didn’t have a phone, and instead of calling 911 he walked the woman to her apartment, directly above his.
The court testimony of Peter Quick, a crime scene technician for the Colorado Springs Police Deparment, used blood stains to piece pieced together the woman’s trail through her apartment. The woman collapsed, unable to walk further, on a chair feet from her apartment door; some of her blond hair extensions, which were also found in a bush near the sidewalk, were on her threshold. Inside, Quick found the woman’s shorts, heavily stained with blood and feces. In her bedroom, there was a foot-wide black blood stain on her carpet.
The woman told police that she blacked out after drinking was she thought was lemonade, possibly in Mohammed’s apartment. She woke up hours later in pools of her own blood, so severely injured that she could have died without medical help, police said.
The testimony in Jasim’s case is set to continue Thursday morning.
Contact Ryan Maye Handy: 636-0261