Fugitive convicted of rape of daughter captured in Dominican Republic
The Essex County District Attorney's Office indicted Reyes in November 2005, and took him to trial in Lawrence Superior Court 11 months later. Over the course of the trial, his daughter testified to a pattern of sexual abuse by father. On the last day of his trial, Oct. 23, 2006, Reyes failed to appear for court. That afternoon, the jury convicted him in absentia of single counts of rape of a child, indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; and three counts each of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or under and incest. Evidence presented by the Essex County District Attorney's Office showed that Reyes raped and assaulted his daughter over two periods - from 1998-99, while the girl was 11-12 years old and living with Reyes in Lawrence, and again from 2003-05, while she was 16-18 years old and living with him in Methuen.
Two days later, the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section began searching for Reyes. Troopers under the direction of Sgt. Mark Lynch tracked him to New York City; before he could be arrested there, however, State Police determined he had boarded a flight to the Dominican Republic. Local authorities contacted the US Department of Justice, which issued a warrant. Massachusetts State Police contacted US deputy marshals assigned to the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic, and additionally asked US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be on the lookout for Reyes or his girlfriend.
In January of this year, ICE stopped Reyes's girlfriend as she entered the United States. Further investigation advanced the search for Reyes, and Massachusetts State Police at that time passed additional information on to the deputy marshals in the Dominican Republic.
Yesterday afternoon, deputy marshals determined that Reyes would be visiting his sister's house in Sector Italia, a part of Santo Domingo. With the assistance the Direcion Nacional de Control de Drogas, a Dominican police agency, Deputy Marshals Robert Sanchez and Ernesto Fernandez located Reyes near the house and placed him in custody.
"This criminal may have thought he escaped justice, but he thought wrong," said Colonel Mark F. Delaney, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. "This truly was a cooperative effort that spanned not only different agencies, but different countries."
Reyes is being held in the Dominican Republic pending extradition. Once he is returned to Lawrence, he will be sentenced for his crimes.
"The arrest of this child rapist came as the result of tenacious investigative work by the Massachusetts State Police Fugitive Unit, and I salute them," said Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. "I would also like to acknowledge the excellent prosecutorial efforts of Assistant District Attorney Maureen Wilson Leal, and the Lawrence and Methuen police investigators who worked so hard for this conviction."
Added Lawrence Police Chief John J. Romero: "I would like to commend all agencies involved in the apprehension of this dangerous criminal. We never gave up on bringing this fleeing felon to justice."