Looks like a procedural error
Wednesday, a judge dismissed child abuse charges levied against three of the five suspects arrested when a remote compound in New Mexico was raided by authorities.
The dismissal doesn’t appear (based on the latest reporting) to be intentional but was required due to a procedural error.
A New Mexico judge has ruled that child abuse charges against three people arrested at a desert compound will be dismissed. Some of the charges against two others in the case were also thrown out.
Taos County District Judge Emilio Chavez ruled in a hearing Wednesday to dismiss child abuse charges against Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhannah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morten saying they didn’t have a preliminary hearing in the 10-day time frame required by New Mexico State law for defendants held in custody, according to the official.
How the prosecutor allowed this is beyond me. Particularly as the details of clear abuse that have been reported are horrifying:
Prosecutors could still try to pursue charges by seeking an indictment from a grand jury. Prosecutors offered no immediate indications Wednesday as to how they will proceed.
Another hearing that happened later Wednesday dealt with new charges filed against the dead boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and his partner, Jany Leveille. They are accused of child abuse resulting in death.
The judge dismissed some of the charges against the two men.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, is accused of taking his son, Abdul-Ghani, from his Clayton County home and bringing him to the compound.
The surviving children on the compound told investigators about religious rituals performed on Abdul-Ghani, saying the boy would cry with his eyes rolling back into his head as “jinn” and “shayateens,” or spirits and demons, were cast out of him, sometimes for up to five hours a day.
After the child’s death, they said regular washing of his body would be used as a “tool of punishments against one of the children, if he disobeyed the requests of the adults or showed disrespect.”
Eleven children were removed from the compound, all malnourished, and remanded to state custody. The remains of a missing three-year-old boy were later discovered at the compound.
The whole ordeal is…strange. Shortly after the compound was raided, authorities destroyed it.
For our previous coverage of the story, see here:
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