A Frederick man charged with raping an underage Salvadoran girl after having her brought to the United States illegally was given the opportunity to post bail at a hearing before a county district court judge Tuesday.
Lucas Mariano Alfaro, 53, was taken into custody late Monday morning after a Frederick police officer served a warrant charging him with second-degree rape, second-degree assault and third-degree sex offense, according to court records. According to the complaint — which was written by the alleged victim with the assistance of her attorney — Alfaro was in his 40s when he first met the alleged victim at a funeral in El Salvador in 2010 when she was 13 years old. The complaint indicates Alfaro first had sex with her that same night and continued to see her when visiting El Salvador, where he is originally from.
While the complaint was filed by the woman and her private attorney, acting Lt. Andrew Alcorn, who commands the Frederick Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, confirmed that the department was made aware of the allegations in October 2017 and already had plans to indict Alfaro.
“This case came up almost two years ago and it has taken us that amount of time to not just substantiate all of the claims and track down the paperwork and documentation, but also to confirm the [accused’s] address and whereabouts,” Alcorn said when reached for comment Tuesday, explaining that the woman alleges Alfaro altered her Salvadoran birth certificate and other paperwork to hide the fact that she was underage.
Alcorn said the woman may have been frustrated with the amount of time it was taking to obtain the documents from El Salvador when she opted to file for charges on her own, a hunch that was confirmed by Carl Somerlock, the woman’s attorney.
“It’s been two years. She was very frustrated and we were really hoping for a grand jury some months ago and it didn’t happen. ... We wanted to get the ball rolling,” Somerlock said when reached for comment Tuesday.
Later the same year Alfaro met the girl, Alfaro paid a “coyote” — a person who smuggles people across the U.S.-Mexico border — to bring her to Las Vegas, where he met her and then drove her back to his home in Frederick, the complaint states.
“I arrived in Maryland around November 2010. Mr. Alfaro was 44 years old at that time,” the woman’s statement reads in part. “Over the next few years he would force me to have sex with him.”
The woman continued to live with Alfaro until November 2014, when she fled to seek services from Heartly House, a local shelter for battered and abused women, after a domestic assault, according to the complaint. Somerlock said that Alfaro, who is a U.S. citizen, frequently threatened the woman and her loved ones to keep her from leaving.
Laura Wilt, an assistant state’s attorney, also mentioned Alfaro’s alleged abuse and threats at a bail review hearing Tuesday afternoon in which she asked Judge Eric Schaffer to continue holding Alfaro without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.
“She was home full time with him, not allowed to go to school or obtain an education,” Wilt said, explaining that prosecutors had obtained documentation that Alfaro even went so far as to alter her Salvadoran birth certificate and other paperwork to hide that she was underage. “... He would threaten her regularly regarding her immigration status, and there is a real sense of concern regarding threats to her family members.”
A public defender hired to represent Alfaro at Tuesday’s hearing argued that a civil case already exists between Alfaro and the alleged victim, simultaneously pointing out that the woman herself had filed for the criminal charges, not the police or prosecutors.
Schaffer ultimately decided to modify Alfaro’s bail and give him the opportunity to secure his release, but agreed with Wilt that Alfaro’s charges and frequent trips to his home country of El Salvador demanded high bail. Under Schaffer’s order, Alfaro must post $30,000 bail and, if he is released, will have no contact with the woman and no unsupervised contact with minors. Alfaro was also ordered to surrender any passports he owns as a condition of his release.
Alcorn confirmed the investigation into Alfaro remained open and ongoing as of Tuesday, and Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith did not rule out the possibility that more criminal charges could be filed in the case.
“We will meet with the [Frederick Police Department] once their investigation is complete to determine what, if any, additional charges would be placed against the defendant,” Smith wrote in an email response to The Frederick News-Post’s questions Tuesday.