Detectives and residents told the members of the 55+ community to lock their doors and ensure their alarm systems were active after one resident was brutally raped by an unknown assailant. A week later, police arrested twenty-year-old Marvin Ailon-Mendoza on charges of burglary with a knife, and sexual battery. The incident terrified the gated 55+ community. One man said that he helped his mother-in-law fix her door.
The defendant is an undocumented resident from Guatemala with a history of committing sex crimes. DNA evidence was used to help track down Mendoza. Legislation passed recently requires all those who are charged with felonies to submit DNA samples. Prior, the law required DNA samples only of those who had been convicted. Police said the new legislation was integral to catching the defendant. Others believe it is a violation of the 4th amendment.
How DNA evidence works
DNA is collected from crime scenes and, in fact, has been collected from crime scenes well before we knew how to test it. Over the past decade or so, investigators have been uploading the information from old rape kits and crime scenes into CODIS, which is a federal database of DNA evidence. This evidence is cross-referenced against current crime scenes and can be used to make arrests and get convictions.
Authorities say that they had DNA from Mendoza after several arrests. Why these arrests never resulted in convictions is curious. Mendoza came to the U.S. in 2016. He was an unaccompanied minor seeking asylum. He began attending asylum hearings in New York, but at some point, stopped attending which made his status in the U.S. illegal. Authorities believe that this is when Mendoza started stalking victims.
During his asylum hearings, Mendoza was arrested for grand theft and battery by means of strangulation. In 2019, Mendoza was charged with indecent exposure. A woman complained that he was masturbating within 100ft of her children. The charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and Mendoza was never required to register as a sex offender.
This type of behavior is commonplace among those who commit sex crimes. Sex crimes begin as trivial and then start to escalate to higher levels of violence and control. However, these sex crimes would have likely made it impossible for Mendoza to ever acquire a green card. It’s not clear why Mendoza wasn’t deported after the misdemeanor conviction. Immigration law makes it difficult for those who commit crimes of “moral turpitude” from remaining in the U.S. legally. It doesn’t matter if the crime is a misdemeanor or felony.
If convicted, Mendoza could, ironically, spend the rest of his life in the United States, albeit from a prison cell.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today and allow us to begin building your defense immediately.