Judge quashes rape charge against Mexican singer

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cancun, Jan 28 (IANS/EFE) Mexican singer Kalimba was exonerated Thursday on charges he raped a 16-year-old girl in the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo.

A judge in Chetumal, the state capital, said he had not found “sufficient evidence” to bring the case to trial.

It was shortly before 9 a.m. when Judge Daniel Farah Godoy handed down his ruling and ordered the singer released from the state prison in Chetumal.

Prosecutor Francisco Alor said he would not appeal the decision, although he insisted that there was sufficient evidence showing that the girl was sexually assaulted Dec 19 at a hotel in Chetumal.

“We don’t agree with the judge’s ruling. Under no circumstances do I agree with the decision, which surprised all of us,” the prosecutor told a local radio station.

“The judge is an arbitrator and the two sides must submit to his rulings. There was sufficient evidence,” he said.

The singer, whose full name is Kalimba Kadjaly Marichal Ibar, was detained last week by US immigration authorities at El Paso International Airport in Texas and sent back to Mexico to face the sexual assault charges.

A girl of 16 who was an usher at Kalimba’s Dec 19 show in Chetumal accused the singer of raping her in the hotel, where she had gone with another minor.

Authorities Wednesday reconstructed the events and found that the 28-year-old singer “did have sexual relations with the minors (after) giving them drinks, something Kalimba initially denied, but today the judge ruled that there’s no crime to prosecute”, Alor said.

Following the ruling, Alor said he will request that charges be dropped against Kalimba’s agent, Gerald Manel, who stands accused of corrupting minors.

The singer’s attorney, Ricardo Sejudo, told the same radio station that he cannot provide details about the case because it involves a minor, but he added that justice was served.

“It was shown that Kalimba did not commit a crime against the minors. There was no violence, no coercion … He can leave at any moment. It’s just a question of procedures,” the attorney said.


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