The granddaughter of 92-year-old Maria Fuertes, who was allegedly brutally raped and murdered on a Queens, New York, sidewalk by an illegal alien, says the “horrific crime” was entirely avoidable if not for New York’s sanctuary state law.
Reeaz Khan, a 21-year-old illegal alien from Guyana, was arrested this month and charged with sexually assaulting and murdering Fuertes by strangling her to death on a sidewalk in Richmond Hill, Queens.
As Breitbart News exclusively reported, Khan first arrived in New York City on a B-2 tourist visa in May 2016 but never departed, overstaying his visa for three years. That violation of federal immigration law makes Khan an illegal alien.
During a press conference with U.S. Border Patrol on Friday, President Trump welcomed Daria Ortiz, a mother of five-year-old and the granddaughter of Fuertes. Ortiz said her grandmother’s alleged murder “could have been avoided” if not for New York’s sanctuary state law that freed Khan weeks before:
Hello everyone, my name is Daria Ortiz. I am the granddaughter of Maria Fuertes, the 92-year-old woman who was raped and murdered in Queens. I’d like to take this moment to say my grandmother was very generous and educated. [Emphasis added]
She was a woman who dedicated her time to taking care of others. Before coming to America, she worked as a secretary for the president of her native country, the Dominican Republic. [Emphasis added]
She is a shining example of when people come legally to this country, work hard, and do the right thing and are law-abiding citizens. My grandmother raised her children and her grandchildren while working hard to give us a future. Unfortunately, my grandmother had to be the example of why something like this horrific crime should never happen. [Emphasis added]
Our family’s hope is that her death was not in vain and that preventative measures are put into place to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to anyone again. The tragedy in all of this is that this could have been avoided had there been no sanctuary law. The tragedy is my grandmother’s not ever going to be here again. [Emphasis added]
The man that is responsible for this should have never had the opportunity to do this had his multiple offenses not been ignored. The system not only failed our family, but it failed our city. Our family would like to thank you to the administration for acknowledging our family’s tragedy … thank you very much. [Emphasis added]
Khan was never supposed to be on the streets the night he allegedly murdered Fuertes. On November 27, the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested and charged Khan with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
ICE agents asked that Khan be turned over to them for deportation, but NYPD ignored the request and freed him back into the community. Less than two months later, Khan allegedly murdered Fuertes.
Maria Fuertes, 92-years-old, was a beloved member of the Richmond Hill community in Queens where she was known for feeding stray cats and collecting cans during her nightly strolls. (Photo via Facebook)
Last month, Khan was indicted by a grand jury on seven counts, including second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and tampering with physical evidence.
In the indictment, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz described the brutal attack on Fuertes that allegedly began when Khan charged at the elderly woman from behind and knocked her to the ground. Khan, according to prosecutors, then allegedly sexually assaulted her before attempting to strangle her to death.
Fuertes was found on the ground by residents passing by and was “barely conscious and incoherent” before she was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died as a result of the injuries.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) defended Khan’s prior release by the New York Police Department prior to the alleged murder, saying that criminal illegal aliens will only ever be turned over to ICE if they are convicted of victimizing Americans and that violent crime charges do not meet that threshold.
More than 7,500 criminal illegal aliens were released in the sanctuary state of New York in 2019 — including convicted murderers, convicted sex offenders, and convicted assailants.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.