Defendant on immigration hold now in federal custody
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A Mexican citizen who feared posting bail on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge because he was the subject of a civil immigration hold was released from jail in Montana after his trial was delayed and within an hour was taken into custody by immigration officials.
Public defender Annie DeWolf argues 46-year-old Arturo Valerio-Gonzales' release on Wednesday was meant to render moot an effort before the Montana Supreme Court that argues civil immigration holds are illegally keeping defendants in jail.
In fact, the Gallatin County attorney filed a motion Thursday asking the Supreme Court to declare the petition moot.
DeWolf said she still plans to ask the state Supreme Court to rule on the issue, because the circumstances could be repeated.
Valerio-Gonzales had been jailed in Bozeman since the charges were filed in June.