About two and a half years ago in Madera, California, Benito Vasquez- Hernandez and his son Moises were arrested for hindering prosecution. They were taken to a county jail near Portland, Oregon but those charges were dropped. Benito and Moises have not been charged with any other crime, but they are being held as material witnesses in the trial of Benito’s other son Eloy Vasquez- Santiago. In Hillsboro, Oregon in 2012, Eloy is being charged with the murder of a fifty-five year old mother of six, Maria Bolanos-Rivera. Jeff Lesowski, who is the prosecutor in Eloy’s case, claims that he has regrets about keeping the father, Benito, locked up for so long, but he has no choice. “I’m trying to convict a man who has confessed to killing a mother” said Lesowski. Moises Vasquez-Hernandez was released from jail after 727 days because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, while his father, Benito Vasquez-Hernandez, and brother, Eloy Vasquez-Santiago are still being held in jail.
Source:Nicky Woolf, “Oregon man facing no charges remains in jail 900 days after arrest,” Guardian, March 16, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/16/benito-vasquez-hernandez-oregon-held-without-charge-900-days.
Student Researcher: Linda Goncalves (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)