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Crime

Defense Attorney Allegedly Intimidated Rape Accuser by Saying She’d Get Deported If She Testified

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Steve Ruark/AP

A Baltimore defense attorney and an interpreter face intimidation and other charges for allegedly trying to dissuade a rape accuser from testifying against her alleged assailant by falsely claiming immigration agents would attend the trial.

Indictments obtained by PEOPLE confirm the allegations against lawyer Christos Vasiliades and interpreter Edgar Rodriguez.

Investigators allege that in early April, Vasiliades arranged to meet Rodriguez at a Baltimore restaurant to speak with the female accuser, who along with her husband is an undocumented immigrant.

While invoking the name of President Donald Trump, Vasiliades allegedly had Rodriguez tell the woman and her husband they both faced deportation simply by showing up for the start of his client’s trial.

The couple was also offered money to skip the court proceedings, the indictment alleges.

A month later, during a second meeting in his office, Vasiliades allegedly told the victim and her husband he would pay them $3,000 if they missed the trial altogether, which he allegedly believed would result in charges being dropped.

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The indictment alleges the lawyer and the interpreter told the couple: “You know how things are with Trump’s laws now. Someone goes to court, and boom, they get taken away.”

Rodriguez allegedly told the couple ICE agents expected at the trial would likely ask to see their documentation.

The indictment alleges Vasiliades proposed the couple take the money and await his client’s eventual release from police custody so they could take vengeance on him.

“Find him and wear him out,” Vasiliades allegedly told the couple. “If we were back where I’m from, from Greece…we would go [expletive] him up. If you want to do that, that’s fine. I think he’s an [expletive]…I did my job, I did very good, and I can go home and go to sleep.”

The suspect in the rape case has not yet gone to trial because the trial has been delayed.

Both Vasiliades and Rodriguez have been released pending trial. They are each charged with common law conspiracy to obstruct justice and intimidate a victim and witness, obstruction of justice, and two counts each for intimidating a witness by threat, intimidating a witness by corrupt means, solicitation to intimidate a witness, influencing a witness to withhold testimony, and inducing a victim to be absent from an official proceeding.

Neither could be reached for comment. It was unclear if either has appeared in court to plea to the charges, and PEOPLE was unable to determine if either suspect has retained legal counsel.