Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Raped and Forgotten
Tonight a young sexual assault victim and her family are going public hoping someone will come forward to help them find the man behind their nightmare. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero Is on the Case.
WSVN -- Have you seen this man? He is 42-year-old Danilo Mendoza charged with lewd and lascivious battery and molestation of this child.
Victim: "I check my closet everywhere cause I'm just scared. I don't know if he's there watching me."
Victim: "It's hard. I don't sleep."
She and her mother asked us to conceal their identities. Her mother says Mendoza drugged her daughter who was 13 at the time.
Victim's Mother: "When she woke up he was on top of her and she kept telling him to stop and screaming to stop and to stop and he said he wasn't finished yet."
The young girl was devastated.
Victim's Mother: "She wrote on her Facebook wall that she didn't want to live anymore."
Carmel Cafiero: "After his arrest, Mendoza was released on bond, but the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office went to court asking to have the bond revoked based on the belief Mendoza represented an "imminent danger" to the victim and her family."
The motion to revoke bond alleges that Mendosa drove by the victim's home or school five times in two weeks.
Victim: "And he comes by my house and rolls down his window and just stares and drives by very slowly."
In one instance the motion reads: "The defendant drove by the victim in a slow manner and continually stared at her causing fear."
Ed Griffith: "We felt that there was a pattern of intimidation that was being undertaken by this defendant."
When Mendoza didn't show up for a hearing on the motion, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Yet today, more than five months later Mendoza remains free despite the arrest warrant. The family says Mendoza ha's called the child and continued to drive by her home and middle school.
Victim's Mother: "He says he's gonna do it again, he's going to rape her again. And this time he's not going to leave her alive."
The Miami-Dade Police Department says Mendoza used to live in this Homestead apartment, but is no longer here or at any of the addresses authorities have for him.
A spokesman says Mendoza who is from Honduras may have left the country, but the family believes he is still here and can't understand why he hasn't been taken into custody.
Victim's mother: "I mean, he's threatening my daughter's life. He's stalking her. What are they waiting for? So a homicide detective can knock on my door and says he's its too late your daughter's dead."
So they are hoping by speaking out someone will come forward to help police find Danilo Mendoza.
If you have any information on Danilo Mendoza, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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