• The San Juan Daily Star

Teen brothers accused of sexual abuse of minor in Mexico to remain in prison pending trial

By John McPhaul

A judge in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo found probable cause last week to hold two Puerto Rican teenagers in prison pending trial for the alleged sexual abuse of a 17-year-old Mexican girl.

“An arraignment judge ordered preventative detention for the accused given that he found elements of proof that connect them to probable participation in the illicit conduct,” said a press release issued by the state’s attorney general.

The judge gave a period of one month for closing the case against Luis Zapata, 19, and his brother Erick, 18.

Marisol Colón, the aunt of the brothers’ mother, Marylis Hernández, said the lawyer hired by the family filed an appeal to the “preventive detention” ruling.

“[The Mexican court] was supposed to hear the appeal last Friday, but we hope it will happen soon,” Colón said.

The brothers have been detained since June 28, after they were accused by the minor, who claims to have been raped by the pair.

Due to Hurricane Grace’s passage through the Yucatán Peninsula last week, the teens’ father Luis Zapata Sr. had not been able to see or communicate with his sons since Tuesday, according to local news reports.

Luis Sr. said his sons are physically fine, but he is concerned about their mental state.

“They are anxious,” he said.

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