OMAHA, NE (KETV) – Gabino Vargas-Perez was a junior at Central High School when a 14-year-old girl told police he raped her.
He posted $5,000 bond and then disappeared.
Prosecutors said Vargas-Perez, 20, is a legal U.S. resident, but his parents are in Guatemala.
The victim’s family says the damage has been done, and now they fear justice will never be served.
“I’m really frustrated, I’m really mad at the situation, at the law,” the teen’s aunt, remaining anonymous to protect her niece, said.
She tells KETV NewsWatch 7 that Vargas-Perez stalked the girl at school for several months before they started dating. She says her niece reported him to school administration on multiple occasions, although Omaha Public Schools says it has no record of these reports.
According to a police report, the victim says Vargas-Perez told her he was taking her home to meet his family, but after the introduction, he took her upstairs, took her clothes off and forced her to have sex after she told him “no.”
The incident happened in the fall of 2016, and was reported in December, police say.
“Her emotion, personal emotion, she’s doing really bad,” the girl’s aunt said.
The family who helped him bond out said he’s gone and they hope it’s for good.
“He’s not in the country anymore,” said a family member of Vargas-Perez, who asked to not be identified. “What I’ve heard, he’s not in the country.”
“Ever since that incident happened, nobody wanted anything to do with him,” the family member added.
After posting bond, Vargas-Perez never showed up for his next court appearance. Now there’s a warrant out for his arrest.
The judge who set his bond is Jeffrey Marcuzzo, who also set bond for Eswin Mejia, the suspect in a deadly crash who also vanished. The crash killed Sarah Root.
“The bond amounts, you know, they gotta be higher,” Sarah Root’s father, Scott Root, said.
Unlike Mejia, Vargas-Perez is a legal citizen.
His strong family ties outside the U.S. concern prosecutors.
“He’s from Guatemala,” Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said. “I don’t know where he is at this point in time.”
Kleine said the metro area fugitive task force hopes to find him. But task force members say if Vargas-Perez is out of the country, there’s no guarantee they can get him back.
“There are some countries that will not extradite individuals whether they are a national citizen of their country or if they’re a citizen of another country,” Chief Deputy of the U.S. Marshals District of Nebraska, Jaime Galindo, said.
“This costs a lot of money. It’s unfortunate,” Kleine added. “But people skip bond like this when the bonds aren’t high enough.”
Vargas-Perez’s local family members said they thought he wanted his day in court, that he was even calling local defense attorneys. They didn’t know he’d vanish.
“He leaves us with the consequences of looking bad, or something like that. But that’s on him,” the family member said.