A Maryland rape suspect was released from jail over coronavirus concerns — and shot dead his accuser, authorities say.
Ibrahim E. Bouaichi, 33, of Greenbelt had been indicted on charges of rape, strangulation and abduction after Karla Dominguez, a native of Venezuela, told cops in Alexandria, Va., that he sexually assaulted her in October, the Washington Post said.
Bouaichi turned himself in 11 days later, and a judge ordered him held without bond. Then, despite objections by an Alexandria prosecutor, lawyers for the man, who was charged with six felonies, successfully argued on April 9 that he be released on $25,000 bond — with a condition that he only leave his Maryland residence to meet with lawyers or pretrial services officials, the newspaper said.
In their motion requesting bond, Bouaichi’s lawyers had argued that it was “impossible” to provide their client with adequate social distancing and other safety measures amid COVID-19 while behind bars, according to the report.
Less than a month after Bouaichi’s release from the Alexandria jail, he was arrested May 8 for allegedly ramming a K-9 officer’s vehicle in Greenbelt, where he lives with his parents, the Washington Post said.
He was charged with first-degree assault, harming a law enforcement dog and other counts and released May 11, Maryland court records show.
Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter told the Washington Post that at the time, local authorities there were not notified of the charges Bouiachi faced in Prince George’s County. They would have tried to revoke bond for him if they had been, Porter said.
But Bouaichi remained free — and on July 29, he returned to Dominguez’s apartment building and fatally shot her, police said.
Bouaichi had then been on the lam until Wednesday, when he was spotted in his car by federal marshals and Alexandria police in Prince George’s County. Cops found him with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was listed in critical condition at a local Virginia hospital Friday afternoon, Alexandria police Lt. Courtney Valentine told The Post.
In a statement, Bouaichi’s lawyers said they were “certainly saddened by the tragedy both families have suffered.” The lawyers said they had been eagerly anticipating trial on the rape charges against the suspect.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic continued the trial date by several months, and we didn’t get the chance to put forth our case,” they said.
Meanwhile, an online fundraiser set up to help with Dominguez’s funeral costs had eclipsed $5,000 as of Friday.