Texas man accused of raping girl is released on $1 bond after prosecutors missed indictment deadline

According to court documents, the deadline was missed by just two days to indict him on charges

Louise Whitbread
Friday 22 September 2023 12:29 BST
Luis Sanchez, 25, pictured in his mugshot following his arrest in May 2023
Luis Sanchez, 25, pictured in his mugshot following his arrest in May 2023 (ABC13)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A Texas man accused of raping a 16-year-old has been freed on $1 bond after prosecutors missed the deadline to indict him on charges by just two days.

Luis Sanchez, 25, was accused of plying the girl with alcohol, drugging and then raping her at his home in Houston Heights, Texas, back in April 2022.

The alleged victim told her mother about the alleged incident three months later saying, “Luis drugged me and raped me,” according to court documents obtained by ABC13.

She later told authorities that she had passed out after drinking Smirnoff vodka and woke up naked in bed next to the then-24-year-old.

Court documents reveal that the teenager became pregnant from the alleged rape, with a DNA test proving Mr Sanchez’s paternity.

The suspect was arrested on charges in May 2023 and was being held at Harris County Jail.

But, due to a mistake by authorities, he has now walked free from prison.

In the state of Texas, prosecutors are required to obtain an indictment within 90 days of a person being held in custody.

If the deadline is missed, the law says the individual is entitled to “a reasonable or personal recognizance bond”.

Prosecutors missed the deadline by just two days making him eligible for release.

Court paperwork shows that Sanchez is poverty-stricken and so his attorney filed a motion to reduce his bond amount.

Judge Katherine Thomas then ruled that he should have a personal recognizance bond set at just $1.

Luis Sanchez, 25, pictured in his mugshot following his arrest in May 2023
Luis Sanchez, 25, pictured in his mugshot following his arrest in May 2023 (ABC13)

He was then released from Harris County Jail on Thursday 21 September with an ankle monitor and is now remanded under house arrest at a shelter.

The alleged victim’s mother slammed his release as a “egregious miscarriage of justice”.

“It’s an egregious miscarriage of justice that will allow a child rapist to be released to an unsuspecting public,” the girl’s mother told ABC13.

“We’re very shocked, taken aback by the turn of events. For over a year, we’ve grieved and suffered as a result of this horrible time.

“We feel blindsided, because we took comfort in the fact that he was initially granted a $75,000 bond, because we could sleep at night knowing he could not make that bond.”

Mr Sanchez is next due to appear in court in November 2023.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in