EDINBURG — The attorneys prosecuting and defending a Mission man accused of raping an underage girl at his mother’s sports bar agreed Tuesday to reduce the defendant’s bond, action which preceded a hearing scheduled here for the same day.
Hope Palacios, the prosecutor for the state, and Roberto M. Capello, who’s representing the defendant — Genaro Fuentes, 36 — both advised state District Judge Mario E. Ramirez Jr. of their mutual agreement to reduce Fuentes’ bond from $350,000 to $175,000.
The original bond amount was set last week during Fuentes’ formal arraignment on sexual assault charges.
Fuentes, who has been in custody since his July 31 arrest, remains at a Hidalgo County jail on the rape charges. On Tuesday, Fuentes’ relatives sat inside Ramirez’s courtroom to hear the proceedings, and to confer with Capello.
Palacios requested the same conditions apply to the new bond amount; specifically, the chief of the county’s special victims division asked the court to prevent Fuentes from contacting any of the victims, anyone under 17 years old, and the co-defendants in the case. One of the defendants is Fuentes’ mother, 61-year-old Rita Martinez Moreno.
The prosecutor also requested Fuentes be required to wear a GPS tracking monitor.
The court granted the reduction in bond.
The charges against Fuentes and at least three others — among them a Texas Department of Public Service trooper — stem from a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigation into Fuentes’ mother’s bar in rural Mission, Rita’s Sports Bar.
Fuentes’ mother, Martinez, faces charges related to the investigation, specifically accused in connection with 31 charges — among them trafficking of persons, possession of a controlled substance and nearly 30 sexual assault charges involving a minor.
The state alleges Martinez’s bar, where Fuentes is an employee, was where the minor girls were being held, and where the rapes are alleged to have taken place.
The Monitor does not identify victims of sexual abuse, and the indictment uses a pseudonym for the three victims named.
Like his mother, Fuentes is accused of sexually assaulting a minor, identified by the pseudonym Kenia Garcia. The assaults are alleged in the indictment to have taken place once in November 1999 and again in December of the same year.
One of the other men charged, Mariano Israel Vera, was in court last week for his formal arraignment.
During that hearing, the 53-year-old Mission man, who owns his own construction company, formally pleaded not guilty to one sexual assault of a minor charge, and was granted a $100,000 bond.
Martinez and another man, Juan Angel Barrientos, 48, of Edinburg, also face sexual assault of a minor charges.
Currently suspended by DPS, Barrientos is the only one of the four suspects who is currently free on bond.
Barrientos received a $60,000 personal recognizance bond in connection with three counts of sexual assault of a child, also related to TABC’s investigation.
The DPS trooper is accused of several instances of sexual assault of a child in 2001, and twice in 2002, according to the two-page indictment, which is unsealed.
He’s accused of then sexually assaulting Kenia Garcia on two subsequent occasions, on or about Jan. 1 and Feb. 1, 2002.
The DPS trooper and the owner of the bar are scheduled for formal arraignment on Aug. 28 before District Judge Israel Ramon.
Fuentes is due back before the court in early September.