Nearly two decades after he allegedly raped a young girl, a former Atlantic County man is seeing some of the evidence against him.
Israel Ramos is accused of running from the allegations of aggravated sexual assault on an Atlantic County 11-year-old that were lodged against him in 1999.
“I object to the term ran,” defense attorney Matthew Portella said during a recent court hearing. “There’s an argument here that he didn’t know the charges existed until he was picked up.”
But Ramos not only knew, according to authorities, but he created a whole new identity to avoid them.
“He was well-aware he had a warrant,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Buckley told Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor.
When Ramos was tracked down this April, he was living in Pennsylvania as Juan Vasquez-Perez, law enforcement said at the time.
Detective Anthony Branca, of the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Squad, was able to track him down using social media.
Social media helps track down alleged sex offender after nearly 20 years
Man wanted nearly 20 years arrested by Atlantic County sheriff’s detective – BreakingAC
A man wanted in the 1999 sexual assault of an Atlantic County child was found living under a fake name as an auto parts worker in Philadelphia. Israel Ramos had run for nearly two decades. As Juan Vasquez-Perez, he had a Social Security card, a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license and a job at the Advanced … Read morean wanted nearly 20 years arrested by Atlantic County sheriff’s detective
Due to the age of the evidence, pictures are not digital and there was no Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE, doing a rape test, Buckley said.
A pediatric doctor did do an examination.
The girl and her mother have been tracked down, and want to proceed with the prosecution, Buckley said.
Plea negotiations have included an offer of a 15-year sentence under the No Early Release Act, which would require Ramos to serve at least 85 percent of that time before he would be eligible for parole.
Another 1999 case out of Cumberland County is also “semi-related,” Buckley told the judge.
She said they are looking to have that case moved to Atlantic County as well.
That case — which involves an adult victim related to the juvenile — involves charges of aggravated assault with a weapon, possession of a handgun and terroristic threats.
It is so old that it is not in the office’s electronic system, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said.
Outside the courtroom, Portella said his defense of the case is awaiting the full evidence, which is taking some time due to the age of the case.