Honduran man charged with sex assault of child in Denver arrested by ICE at DIA

A Honduran man, who is living in the U.S. illegally and is charged with sexual assault of a child in Denver, was arrested Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at Denver International Airport, according to a news release.

In February, Celin Villeda-Orellana, 33, was arrested by Denver police for investigation of sex assault of a child, according to ICE.

ICE lodged an immigration detainer on Feb. 11 with the Denver Justice Center, requesting that Denver hold Villeda-Orellana until ICE officers could “pick him up,” the release said. Denver officials declined the detainer request, and Villeda-Orellana was released from Denver custody on Feb. 21.

“A man charged with hurting a child in such a heinous manner has been released from the Denver Justice Center and was found at the airport. How is it justice to the victims to release these types of criminals to the streets?” said John Fabbricatore, field office director, in the release.

Villeda-Orellana is in ICE custody pending removal from the United States, according to ICE. He was deported in 2007 but was caught re-entering the country in 2018. That time, he was allowed to stay in the United States while his deportation case was pending because he was part of a family.

Colorado law prohibits law enforcement agencies from holding a person living in the United States illegally solely because ICE has an immigration detainer request. For years, most Colorado jails, including Denver, have declined to detain an inmate past their release date because of an immigration hold request. The issue has long put Denver — and most of Colorado — at odds with ICE.

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