On June 1, 2009 Pennsylvania resident Jose Carrasquillo brutally raped an 11-year-old girl.
Carrasquillo was detained by police after a mob of angry citizens found him and held him captive until police took him into custody.
When asked why he raped the girl, Carrasquillo said it was because he’d been rejected for a date by a black person several days before.
“The rage I had about being rejected and the black guy — black people in general — I’ve been locked up and in placement with black people my whole life. They treated me bad and they think they are the supreme race. I went berserk.”
To get his revenge, Carrasquillo got high on cocaine and PCP and brutally raped the young black child. After being detained, he pleaded guilty to the rape. He also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting another 16-year-old victim. He was sentenced to 30-66 years in prison.
But today, years after his sentencing, A Kensington, Pennsylvania court has announced that Carrasquillo will be granted a retrial.
Here’s why: although he initially pleaded guilty, Carrasquillo changed his mind and pleaded innocent just days before his sentencing. Since he technically changed his plea before being sentenced, the Pennsylvania courts are granting him a new trial.
“Although there is no absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea properly received by the trial court," wrote Judge David N. Wecht in the majority opinion, "it is clear that a request made before sentencing . . . should be liberally allowed."
It is not known on what grounds Carrasquillo and his team will attempt to defend his innocence. Judging by his past claims, his mental health may play a role in their argument.
When declaring his innocence several years ago, Carrasquillo told authorities that he was the antichrist, and that while incarcerated in prison in 2002 immigration authorities tried to send him to China to assassinate the president.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Carrasquillo’s retrial is that his rape victim, now a teenager, will likely have to testify against him in court. Judge Wecht acknowledged this in his majority opinion ruling, saying “We are profoundly sympathetic to the Commonwealth’s desire to shield [the victim] from the emotional discomfort likely to result from testifying.”
The District Attorney's Office released a statement earlier this week saying, "We are disappointed with the court's decision and while we haven't decided yet what our next step will be, there is no question that Carrasquillo is the person responsible for the brutal attack of an innocent 11-year-old girl."
If Carrasquillo continues to maintain his innocence, he will go on trial sometime in the next year.