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Lawyer accused of attempting to bribe and intimidate rape victim

Baltimore lawyer Christos Vasiliades, 38, was arrested Tuesday at a Baltimore courthouse. Vasiliades was in the building for the start of the trial of his client, Mario Aguilar-Delosantos, on a charge of rape.

Vasiliades returned to the same courthouse the following day although on Wednesday he was wearing a prison jumpsuit and appearing as a criminal defendant. The 38-year-old lawyer had been charged with obstruction of justice and witness intimidation. Edgar Ivan Rodriguez, who was identified as Vasiliades’ interpreter, was also charged with the same offences. Both men were arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the indictment, Vasiliades and Rodriguez met twice with the victim and her husband. At their first meeting on Apr. 11, it is alleged the attorney and the interpreter told the couple Vasiliades’ client was “very sorry” for what happened and was willing to pay her $3,000 if she did not show up to testify in court. The lawyer and the interpreter are also alleged to have intimidated the victim by saying she could end up being deported if she testified because ICE agents would be at the courthouse. A source close to the victim and her husband said the couple have no legal status in the United States.

A second meeting was held on May 18 and, according to the indictment, was secretly recorded by the couple. In the recording, the victim and her husband were allegedly told the woman should go to the courthouse on the trial date but wait outside the building with Rodriguez. Rodriguez would have $3,000 in cash with him and after the case was thrown out because she did not appear, Vasiliades would step outside and give the interpreter “a thumbs up signal.” Rodriguez would then give her the money.

At this second meeting, the lawyer allegedly told the couple, “You know how it is with Trump’s laws now; someone goes to court, and boom, they get taken away.”

Vasiliadis also allegedly told the victim and her husband he is from Greece and if they wanted revenge, they should do what would be done in that country. Vasiliadis then allegedly told the couple it would be okay if they beat up his client.

Maryland Attorney General Bruce Frosh said this is a case of witness intimidation. He added, “You have somebody who is trying to take advantage of the fear in the immigrant community that has been rampant since the election last November and use it to get a rapist off the hook.”

Both Vasiliades and Rodriguez have been released from custody pending trial.

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