Sex Case Returned To Grand Jurors 2 Raped Unconscious Women, Police Say

Senta Scarborough, The Arizona Republic
August 2, 2001

Sex Case Returned To Grand Jurors 2 Raped Unconscious Women, Police Say
Senta Scarborough, The Arizona Republic

The same videotapes of sex acts that led to the arrest of two Tempe men are responsible for sending the cases back to a grand jury for reconsideration of charges.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Keppel sent the sexual assault cases against Mazen M. Diamond, 25, and Antonio Sanchez, 29, back to grand jurors last week. Diamond and Sanchez were indicted separately on several charges of sexual assault and surreptitious videotaping in April.

Police said they raped women while they were unconscious and videotaped the acts.

The judge ruled after Craig Gillespie, Sanchez’s attorney, argued that the tapes showed something other than what the prosecution alleged.

Gillespie argued that a Tempe police detective misrepresented the sexual encounters by telling grand jurors that the women were “passed out” and “totally unresponsive.”

However, the videotapes confiscated by police, not shown to the grand jurors, show Sanchez had “consensual, mutual, and voluntary sexual intercourse, as evidenced by bodily movement and explicit conversation,” Gillespie wrote.

Both defendants have been released from custody on bond pending the outcome of future grand jury matters.

“It is our intention to pursue the cases,” said Bill FitzGerald, a Maricopa County Attorney Office spokesman, stating that state law prohibited further comment.

The cases were remanded in response to a rare move in which the prosecutor agreed with Gillespie.

“It is encouraging that the prosecutor agreed with us. I haven’t seen it in 30 years,” said Mike Vaughn, Diamond’s attorney.

Police say Diamond and Sanchez first drugged, then taped their rapes of two women at their apartment at 1905 E. University Drive after they had lured them from local nightclubs March 18 and 23.

Gillespie said the state had allegedly “grossly misrepresented the facts.”

“It wasn’t a fair presentation to the grand jury,” Gillespie said. “The publicity around the arrest led to a rush to present it.”

Tempe police Sgt. Randy Fougner said he is unable to comment on the case because of state law concerning grand jury investigations.