EL CENTRO – A hearing regarding the alleged kidnapping and assault of (then teenager) Mussa Asiad in 2014 was conducted at the Imperial County Superior Courthouse in El Centro Wednesday, September 13.
According to the alleged victim, the mishandling of reports and evidence by the Calexico Police Department has impacted the case in favor of the defense.
The original Calexico Chief of Police, Pompeyo Tabarez, and the investigative unit in charge of the case, were relieved of duty and a new interim chief, Michael Bostic, and another investigative unit took over the case in November of 2014. Allegations of a botched case and corruption on behalf of the Calexico Police Department by Chief Bostic have led to an internal affairs FBI investigation.
Former Calexico Chief Bostic was eventually dismissed, but he has claimed city council members conspired to get him fired and just recently settled successfully out of court on a corruption lawsuit that he filed against the city of Calexico.
Since the case of Mussa Asiad opened, a third chief of police, Reynaldo Gomez, has assumed the role for Calexico PD.
A three-year probation sentence is not justice, Asiad and his supporters repeatedly stated outside of the courthouse in El Centro.
“The DA has not offered to prosecute the defendants for only three years probation,” commented Assistant District Attorney Deborah Owen. “Sentencing the defendant for a crime is the responsibility of the judge rather than the individual prosecutor. The judicial process, the rights of the victim, and the rights of the accused have all been explained to Mr. Mohammad and his son in extensive detail,” she clarified.
Imperial County Superior Court Judge Christopher Plourd scheduled an in-camera hearing for Friday, September 22, where he said he would more closely review the details of the case.
In a fit of frustration, Asiad eventually stormed out of the courtroom when he attempted to speak out of turn and was silenced by the judge for being out of order.
A pretrial has been set for October 11.