Weslaco man claims he was victim of hate crime in Iowa
Tue, 12 Jul 2011 23:35:19 GMT —
A Weslaco man has filed a lawsuit after he was allegedly the victim to a hate crime in Iowa where he claims he was kidnapped and beaten.
Attorneys from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid filed the lawsuit on behalf of farm worker Rafael Trevio.
Trevio reports he left the Rio Grande Valley to try make an honest living working for a corn-growing company in a small town in Iowa.
But this experience ended up leaving him scarred him both physically and emotionally.
Trevio claims seven Anglo men abducted him from his home at night, took him field and beaten until he passed out.
The lawsuit names two police officers, whom Trevino's attorney say failed to take proper action against the alleged aggressors and actually tried to cover up the crime.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid attorney Marinda Van Dalen spoke to Action 4 News about the case.
"Unfortunately, right now in our country there's a lot of hostility towards immigrants including those who are here legally and people who were even born here and are U.S. Citizens, Van Dalen said. A group of young white people who lived in the community decided that they wanted to beat up a Mexican-American and they thought they could get away from it."
Van Dalen said many times these crimes go unreported because of fear and because low-income people often don't know about the resources available to them.
She said this crime nearly destroyed Trevio's life but because he chose to speak out, the case has become one of fighting for civil rights.