A Texas man accused of drugging, raping and impregnating a 16-year-old girl was released from jail on $1 bail after prosecutors missed a deadline to charge him by two days.
Luis Sanchez, 25, was released from the Harris County Jail on Thursday, three months after his arrest on a felony charge of sexual assault of a child.
In the Lone Star State, prosecutors must obtain an indictment within 90 days of the suspect’s arrest.
If the indictment is not obtained from a grand jury within the allotted time, by law the defendant must be granted “a personal or reasonable recognizance bond.”
Because Sanchez was listed in court records as indigent, a judge granted his attorney’s request to reduce his bail amount to $1 this week.
The mother of the alleged rape victim criticized Sánchez’s bail release as “an egregious miscarriage of justice” in an interview with ABC13, during which her voice was altered to protect her family.
Luis Sanchez, 25, accused of drugging, raping and impregnating a 16-year-old girl, was released from the Harris County Jail after posting $1 bail.
A grand jury indicted Sanchez in late August, two days after the 90-day deadline allowed by state law. ABC 13
In April 2022, Sánchez invited the teenager and her siblings to his home in Houston Heights to play. During her visit, she allegedly gave the 16-year-old a drink of Smirnoff vodka, according to court records cited by Fox 26.
He then allegedly sent the girl’s siblings back home, but told them she could spend the night at his house.
Three months later, the teenager found out that she was pregnant and made her mother take her to the hospital, after telling her: “Luis drugged me and raped me.”
The teen later told officials that on the night of the sleepover, she had passed out after drinking vodka and then woke up naked in bed next to Sanchez.
A judge reduced Sanchez’s bail to $1 because he was listed in court records as indigent. ABC 13
The alleged rape resulted in pregnancy and a DNA test confirmed that Sanchez was the biological father of the girl’s baby.
Sánchez was arrested in May, more than a year after the alleged rape. He was released from jail Thursday afternoon with an ankle monitor and placed under house arrest at a shelter.
But the alleged victim’s mother said she believed the conditions of Sanchez’s release were insufficient to keep the public safe from him.
“God forbid, if you took off the ankle monitor, it would be gone in an instant,” he said.
The woman also said her daughter is “terrified” that Sanchez will try to find her.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said the conditions of Sanchez’s release include an ankle monitor and house arrest. ABC 13
“We felt surprised, because we took comfort in the fact that he was initially granted $75,000 bail, because we could sleep at night knowing that he couldn’t afford that bail,” the mother said, referring to the suspect’s initial bail amount.
Sánchez is due back in court in November.