By Joe Beck
WOODSTOCK -- The prosecution dropped charges Monday in Shenandoah General District Court against two Maryland men accused of raping another man in a Mount Jackson motel room.
The future of the defendants, Roberto Huinal Lopez, 35, of Takoma Park, and Mario Franscisco Gamez-Tipoz, of Silver Spring, remained uncertain after a scheduled preliminary hearing was scrapped. Both were still under a detaining order from Immigration Customs and Enforcement and faced possible deportation.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Campola said the prosecution had no choice but to drop the case after the victim, identified in court documents by the initials MAC, refused to respond to a subpoena.
"The victim didn't show," Campola said after the hearing. "We subpoenaed him. He's in Maryland."
The defendants, who have been in jail since their arrests in mid-October, appeared in court in jail uniforms and were returned to custody after the hearing.
Attorney Charles Ramsey, who represented one of the defendants, said his client may be freed, depending on what federal authorities do next.
"With no conviction, I would expect them not to hold him,'' Ramsey said.
The criminal complaint against both men, written by Mount Jackson Police Chief James Fadley, states that the victim told Fadley that two men raped him while the three were drinking in a motel room.
"MAC told me that eventually he was able to get away from them," Fadley wrote.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org