SALT LAKE CITY — A preliminary hearing was set and bail was reduced Monday for Tony Yapias, a prominent Utah immigration activist now facing rape charges.
Yapias — whose full name is Adolfo Tony Yapias-Delgado — made his brief initial appearance in court and asked that a preliminary hearing be scheduled for Nov. 22.
The well-known face of Utah's Latino immigrant community, Yapias, 50, was charged last month with rape, a first-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a class A misdemeanor. In exchange for Yapias agreeing to a no-contact order with the victim in the case, bail was reduced Monday to $100,000, down from the $250,000 that friends and family raised to secure his release from jail.
According to charging documents, Yapias went to the home of a woman he had dated for four years in March despite a number of text messages from the woman telling him not to. The woman had broken off their relationship 10 days earlier.
After he arrived, Yapias "had sexual intercourse with the victim without her consent," charges state. Yapias told police he believed the woman "consented at some point by removing her clothes," according to charging documents.
Yapias then grabbed the woman's phone and deleted text messages between the two, charges state. Those messages were later retrieved by a forensic investigator.
As he did in a press conference the day after charges were filed, Yapias maintained the encounter was consensual and said he is prepared to face the allegations in court.
"That's one of the great things about this country is we have a process," Yapias said. "Sometimes people like to judge you immediately, want to make you found guilty of something without going through the process, and so at this time we're just going to allow that process to begin. That's what began this afternoon and we're going to let the court system deal with that."
Yapias, the director of the Proyecto Latino de Utah advocacy organization, said that while the case limits him, work is continuing to support the Latino community.
"We're still working in the community," Yapias said. "There are a lot of other people in the community who are working every day to make sure that the issues of the community are taken care of."
Yapias cited the upcoming presidential election as one of those concerns.
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