[Stop-traffic] News/US: Landlord's Lawyer Calls Charge Archaic

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Landlord's Lawyer Calls Charge Archaic
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Sep 05 2000 - 09:00:36 EDT


Landlord's Lawyer Calls Charge Archaic
Bid to have sex charges dismissed
By Debra Levi Holtz
The San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2000

BERKELEY -- A lawyer representing a Berkeley landlord accused of smuggling
poor villagers from India to the United States for ``immoral purposes'' has
asked a federal judge to dismiss the charges because he says they are based
on a century-old law that is archaic.

In a motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Ted Cassman,
attorney for Lakireddy Bali Reddy, said the phrase ``immoral purposes'' is
unconstitutionally vague and dates back to a time when criminal law
prevented co- habitation, adultery and men from keeping concubines.

``That phrase is an anachronism dating from a bygone era,'' wrote Cassman.
``But if that era ever existed, it has long since passed.''

As part of a federal indictment filed in January, Reddy, 62, is charged
with two counts of importing and harboring aliens for the purposes of
prostitution or immoral purposes.

Reddy and his son, 30-year-old Vijay Lakireddy, are also charged with
bringing Indian citizens into the United States illegally by using
fraudulent visa applications.

The U.S. attorney's office has said it expects to file further charges
later this month, enlarging its case against the men for their roles in an
alleged scheme to smuggle in poor villagers from southern India for cheap
labor and sex. In addition, state charges of statutory rape are expected to
be brought against Reddy in September.

Federal authorities began investigating Reddy, the largest landlord in
Berkeley, after a 17-year-old girl from India died accidentally in his
apartment from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her 15-year-old sister survived.

Two additional counts of the indictment accuse Reddy of transporting the
minor girls to Berkeley to have sex with them. His lawyer, however, said he
will present evidence that the girls were not minors.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

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