On Wednesday, Baltimore defense attorney, Christos Vasiliades, was arraigned on charges of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice. Vasiliades allegedly told a rape victim that she would be at risk of deportation, if she testified against his client.
The indictment alleges that Vasiliades, 38, and Edgar Ivan Rodriguez, Vasiliades’ interpreter, was being recorded, while trying to bribe the victim with $3,000 if she would agree to not show up to court. Vasiliades also explained the “current environment for immigrants in this country” to the alleged victim’s husband. If the victim did not show up to court, the prosecutors would be forced to drop the case.
In the recorded conversation, Rodriguez told the victim’s husband, “ You know how things are with Trump’s laws now; someone goes to court, and boom, they get away.”
Vasiliades, an attorney since 2011, said an alternative solution to appearing in court would be to just beat up his client.
“If we were back home where I’m from, from Greece … we would go (expletive) him up, that’s it, if you want to that, that’s fine,” Vasiliades said during the recorded conversation. “He’s an (expletive), I think you should find him and kick his (expletive), personally,” according to the indictment by the Maryland attorney general’s office.
According to court records, police arrested Vasiliades in the Courthouse on Tuesday, as the trial of Mario Aguilar-Delosantos, his client, was set to begin.
On Wednesday afternoon, Vasiliades appeared before the judge, handcuffed and a yellow jumpsuit. Vasiliades and Rodriguez were later released under pre-trial supervision.
According to court records, Rodriguez was also charged with witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, arrests by ICE were up by 40 percent.
Aguilar-Delosantos of Fells Point is charged with third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, second-degree assault and second-degree rape. He has been free on a $250,000 bond, but the arrest of his attorney has pushed his trial date back to August.
The indictment says, “Vasiliades and Rodriguez indicated that the monetary compensation would help ensure that (they) would not get deported.”
The victim’s husband met with Vasiliades on May 15, while wearing a recording device, under the advice of law enforcement.
Rodriguez and Vasiliades said Immigration and Customs Enforcement was “looking at his case” in regards to their client and quoted recent immigration statistics.
Rodriguez was recorded saying, “They’re going to ask, ‘You have your documents?’”
Vasiliades has family ties with Anthony Vasiliades, owner of the Sip & Bite diner in Canton. Anthony Vasiliades was arrested after paying a government cooperator $50,000 in exchange for two kilos of cocaine. He later pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Virginia.