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Man arrested for walking into home, fondling woman as she slept is likely in the U.S. illegally

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-25 18:14:48-04

Investigators believe a man who was arrested for walking into a woman's home and fondling her as she slept is likely in the country illegally. 

Rafael Felipe, 20, is charged with sexual imposition and burglary after entering the woman's home in Damascus on Sunday. 

Late Tuesday afternoon, Fresh Mark, the company targeted in an immigration raid last month, confirmed Felipe was an employee at the Salem meat processing plant.

Police said Felipe walked into the woman's home and crawled into bed with her and her fiancee. The woman said she felt someone fondling her and trying to get her clothes off for about 10 to 15 minutes.

"She assumed in a half daze of sleeping that it was her boyfriend," Detective Matthew Beck of the Goshen Police District said. "When she actually woke up, looked over and found out it was not, she basically started screaming, physically grabbed him and escorted him out of the house."

The woman said her two children were in the next room.

Her fiancee chased the man, but he escaped into nearby woods.

Police said they found Felipe minutes later and that both the victim and her fiancee identified him as the attacker.

Investigators said the fiancee also recognized Felipe as a co-worker at Fresh Mark, but the suspect didn't have any identification.

"Even when we initially booked him, we initially booked him as a John Doe," Beck said. 

Investigators later learned Felipe used to have a drivers license, but it expired in 2016.

"At one time it sounded like he was here legally," Beck said. "But since then, he no longer is here legally, which is why he can't obtain or renew his Ohio ID."

Last month's raid at Fresh Mark's Salem plant resulted in the arrest of 146 workers on immigration charges. Federal investigators said the company has been under investigation for more than a year, based on evidence that Fresh Mark may have knowingly hired undocumented workers.  

On Wednesday, a company spokeswoman said Fresh Mark takes these matters seriously and that the company is working with authorities to make sure it is complying with the law.

Fresh Mark would not say if Felipe still worked there, but added, "upon hiring, the documentation Mr. Felipe provided to Fresh Mark was cleared through the government’s E-Verify system."