OUR VIEW: Troubling allegations come from Huron caseRecent charges against a bar owner from Huron are deplorable, and if they are true, he deserves the highest penalty allowed by law.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Recent charges against a bar owner from Huron are deplorable, and if they are true, he deserves the highest penalty allowed by law.
Werner Fajardo, 34, last week was charged with raping three girls, ages 12 to 14. According to police, Fajardo invited the girls into his downtown bar — El Cuervo, on the town’s main street — and mixed them drinks until the girls passed out or were incapacitated.
One girl has testified that Fajardo inappropriately touched her. Another says she recalls Fajardo raping her, and the third said she had bodily pain that indicated a rape may have occurred.
Fajardo was charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of third-degree rape, along with various counts of alcohol-related offenses. If convicted of first-degree rape, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Then, with all of these terrible charges already hanging over his head, he was arrested Saturday for allowing minors in his bar. According to police, up to 11 underage patrons were in El Cuervo during Saturday’s check.
Fajardo was originally released on $10,000 bond, which we consider much too low in this case. Remember: He is accused of raping three young girls.
He posted the $10,000, but at the same time asked for a court-appointed attorney, to be paid for with taxpayer dollars.
After he was arrested Saturday, bond was set at $150,000. That’s more appropriate.
Perhaps Fajardo will be acquitted. We will be happy to report it if it happens.
Today, however, we are stunned that someone who is accused of providing alcohol to minors and then raping them has once again allowed minors into his establishment. This is the same pattern that led to the original charges, yet it occurred again.
If all of these allegations are true, this shows Fajardo has complete disregard for the law and also shows a dangerous pattern that merits not only a much higher bond, but also the fullest attention from the legal system.