The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania released the below information:
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Milton Mateo Garcia-Vasquez, 32, of Philadelphia, PA and a citizen of Honduras, was sentenced to the statutory maximum of 24 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond for unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported.
Garcia-Vasquez pleaded guilty to illegal re-entry after deportation in August 2019. The defendant was previously deported and removed from the United States on June 18, 2013, and never requested or received authorization to re-enter the country. Nonetheless, he broke the law by re-entering the country and then proceeded to brutally rape a young woman near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The defendant grabbed the young woman from behind while she was walking back to her apartment, pushed her into the apartment and sexually assaulted her. He then left, but soon returned to the apartment and sexually assaulted the victim a second time. Garcia-Vasquez was arrested on June 23, 2014 by Philadelphia Police and charged with burglary, kidnapping and rape. He pleaded guilty to those charges in 2015 and was sentenced to a total of 22-44 years in state prison.
“Responsible public policy involves protecting public safety by setting up incentives for people to follow the law. Sanctuary city polices do just the opposite by incentivizing illegal aliens to come to sanctuary jurisdictions, like Philadelphia, where they are led to believe that our nation’s immigration laws will not apply to them,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “A natural consequence of this policymaking is that illegal aliens are drawn to Philadelphia, where some of them commit heinous crimes that never would have occurred if they weren’t here in the first place. This is a terrible tragedy for the innocent victims of such crimes. But it is also a tragedy for our justice system because it normalizes the unfair and un-American idea that the rule of law should not apply to a certain segment of society -- namely, illegal aliens. Anyone who cares about the rule of law or equal treatment under the law should find sanctuary city policies utterly repugnant. We at the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to enforce the rule of law in a neutral, non-partisan manner, rather than playing favorites.”
The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary E. Crawley.