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Honduran illegal immigrant accused of raping girl, 16, in Washington

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Roger Emilson Acosta-Pagoada

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 11:06 p.m.
 

Washington police this week accused a Honduran immigrant of forcing an underage high school student to have sex and threatening to kill her and her family if she reported the attack.

Roger Emilson Acosta-Pagoada, 37, of Washington is charged with rape, false imprisonment and luring a minor into a motor vehicle. Magistrate Judge Robert Redlinger imposed a $100,000 bail and scheduled a preliminary hearing on July 2.

A Washington police officer on May 27 responded to investigate the reported sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in April. Acosta-Pagoada was at the victim's residence when the officer arrived, according to a criminal complaint.

He claimed that the sexual contact was consensual. The girl later reported it was not, police said.

An investigation revealed Acosta-Pagoada was in the United States illegally, so Washington police asked Homeland Security to detain him as a repeat violator of immigration laws.

Federal court records show that border patrol agents arrested Acosta-Pagoada in April 2007 near Eagle Pass, Texas, for illegally crossing the Rio Grande. He pleaded guilty to improper entry by an alien and received 120 days in jail.

The girl told police through an interpreter that she met Acosta-Pagoada at a Laundromat several months earlier and that they maintained contact regularly through text messages and social media.

In April, Acosta-Pagoada picked her up from Washington High School without her parents' permission, the complaint states. Instead of taking her home, police said, he took the girl to his West Walnut Street apartment, where he threatened to harm her or her family if she did not have sex with him.

After raping her at least once, Acosta-Pagoada drove the girl home, the complaint states.

The girl told police that she feared Acosta-Pagoada would retaliate against her if she told anyone about what happened.

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