A 23-year-old Burien man has been charged with rape and assault for an attack on a 19-year-old woman. As a result of the charges, his protected immigration status as a Dreamer — a person brought to the U.S. illegally as a child — has been revoked.
A man accused of raping a 19-year-old Burien woman and beating her unconscious with a kettlebell in the gym of her apartment complex in late June could face deportation if he is convicted.
Salvador Diaz Garcia, 23, was charged July 3 with second-degree rape and second-degree assault in connection with the attack, King County court records show. He has also been charged with third-degree child molestation for allegedly groping a 14-year-old girl in a neighboring apartment complex shortly before the June 25 rape, according to the records.
He entered not guilty pleas to the three felony charges last month, court records show.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Diaz Garcia is a so-called Dreamer under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a federal program that allows people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country. An application for DACA must be renewed every two years.
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Diaz Garcia was granted DACA status in June 2013, ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen wrote in an email. “His DACA has been terminated today, per standard procedure, based on his criminal arrest.”
ICE has lodged a detainer on Diaz Garcia and termination of his DACA status makes him potentially removable from the country, Christensen said.
She did not say where Diaz Garcia is from nor when he came to the U.S.
DACA was created under the Obama administration as a stopgap measure to protect young immigrants while Congress worked on a broader immigration overhaul. Such legislation has not materialized.
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has expressed empathy for the DACA participants, many of whom have no memory of living anywhere but the United States. Canceling the program could mean trying to deport more than 787,000 people who identified themselves to the government in exchange for temporary protection.
But that protection can be revoked, as has happened with Diaz Garcia. People who are in the country illegally and convicted of certain crimes are typically deported after serving their prison sentences.
Trump this week said he was backing legislation that would dramatically reduce legal immigration and shift the nation toward a system that prioritizes merit and skills over family ties.
The two criminal complaints filed against Diaz Garcia by prosecutors provide a timeline of the events of June 25:
Around 7 p.m., the 14-year-old girl went to get the mail at her apartment complex in the 15400 block of Des Moines Memorial Drive in Burien when a man ran up behind her, made a sexual comment she didn’t understand and grabbed her buttocks, say the charges. She yelled at him and he ran away.
About an hour and a half later, a 19-year-old woman got off a Metro bus and was followed by a man as she walked to the gym in her apartment complex, which is next door from where the earlier incident took place, the charges say. The man talked the woman into letting him into the gym.
The woman got on a treadmill and the man asked her questions and stood behind her, according to the charges. She’d later tell police that was her last memory before waking up at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
Just before 10 p.m., the woman returned to her apartment and her mother opened the door to find her covered in blood, missing teeth, with her right ear torn and dangling, and wearing only a tank top, charging papers say.
“She was bleeding from multiple head injuries and unable to talk,” the charges say.
At Harborview, the victim was treated for a variety of injuries and underwent a sexual-assault examination, which turned up male DNA.
Detectives investigating the rape described finding blood all over the gym, including on two kettlebells: “Being hit with a kettlebell is consistent with the blunt force trauma (the victim) suffered to her face and ear,” according to charging documents.
Video surveillance footage from the apartment complex and a description provided by a 12-year-old girl helped police identify Diaz Garcia, who lived in the same building as the 14-year-old he allegedly groped, according to the charges. The 14-year-old girl and the 19-year-old woman independently identified Diaz Garcia from a police photo montage as their assailant, the charges say.
He remains jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail, jail records show.