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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Richmond Resident Detained on Stalking Charges

HOUSTON – A federal judge has ordered that Heriberto Latigo, 42, of Richmond, be remanded to custody pending further criminal proceedings on allegations of stalking, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

In the detention order, publicly available today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson found Latigo’s “alleged conduct to be so egregious and threatening to the victim, that detention is warranted.”

A grand jury indicted Latigo for one count of stalking on May 28, 2015, and arrested two days later. The detention hearing was held Friday, June 5, 2015.

At the hearing, Judge Johnson heard evidence about Latigo’s alleged systematic torture of the victim from March 2014 to April 2015, during which time he sent her horrific images and threatening email messages, according to testimony.

Latigo allegedly had nude photographs of the victim and threatened to distribute them if she did not comply with his sexual demands. Testimony revealed that she refused and he then allegedly sent the images to third parties including the victim’s sister. He allegedly claimed they were his photographs and that he could do whatever he wanted with them. According to the testimony, Latigo also created a Facebook page under “Magdalena Aborted” purporting to be the aborted fetus of the victim. Latigo then allegedly sent the victim an email stating, “Your abortion video will now be posted you whore.”

Testimony further revealed that Latigo repeatedly told the victim that his online harassment was perfectly legal and her attempt at seeking a civil remedy would be futile. According to allegations discussed in court, the relationship devolved into physical altercations, to include an alleged rape in September 2014 when Latigo came to the victim’s home. The victim reported to authorities that Latigo told her no one would believe her if she called the police.

Testimony further revealed that the victim’s passport was allegedly found in Latigo’s home. The victim believed she lost her passport and was unaware that Latigo had it in his possession, according to court testimony.

The government also informed the court that Latigo is in the midst of a divorce and custody battle and has taken his minor children out of the country without their mother’s permission. Latigo’s mother is a citizen of Mexico and owns property there, according to testimony.

Judge Johnson considered all of the evidence and testimony and ultimately found there to be no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure Latigo’s appearance in court. She further noted he presents a danger to the victim.

If convicted, Latigo faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The allegations against Latigo are the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Zack is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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Updated July 7, 2015