NJ sailor charged in prostitute attack

February 10, 2009 4:41:25 AM PST
Two U.S. sailors were formally charged in an attack on two prostitutes in Tijuana, a California news station reported.

Joshua Dockery, of Runnemede, and Jarritt Monzingo were charged and moved to the La Mesa prison in Tijuana.

According to Mexican authorities, in the early morning hours last Thursday, Dockery and Monzingo met with two prostitutes and rented rooms at a Zona Norte Hotel.

One of the women said she was choked, and the other said she was stabbed. A hotel employee was also stabbed, authorities said.

A Tijuana TV station captured video of Dockery and Monzingo arrested by Tijuana police, with one of the men smiling as cameras rolled.

"Any kind of physical injury to a person is considered to be a very serious crime under Mexican law," said Jorge Vargas, a University of San Diego international law professor.

Vargas practiced law in Mexico City, and said it could take years before the case even gets to trial.

"The trial takes place before a single judge, and a case like this could take several years to go through all the different stages," said Vargas.

One of the sailors worked for VRC 30, a logistics and transportation arm of the U.S. Navy. The other was undergoing BUD/S training to be a Navy SEAL.

A representative with Navy Region Southwest, the umbrella command for both sailors, said the personal welfare of both men is being looked after and the Navy is in constant contact with Mexican authorities.

Vargas said judgment and sentencing would depend on a lot of still-undecided factors.

"It could be complicated because of all the circumstances in the case ? alcohol, drugs, weapons, it could involve torture. I don't know but this could be a very serious crime," said Vargas.

If federal violations are found and proven, Vargas said the punishment level would be much higher.

Vargas added that given the nature of what they are accused of, bail is out of the question.

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