Police in Greenfield, California are dealing with a considerable cultural disconnect. Macelino de Jesus Martinez, 36, was arrested after he arranged for a marriage of his daughter, 14, into a marriage for beer and cash. When his son-in-law, Margarito de Jesus Galindo, 18, stopped paying, he went to police to try to get his daughter back. Both are reportedly illegal immigrants from Mexico and now face criminal charges and possible deportation.
Martinez appears to not have realizd that a 14-year-old cannot be married in the state or that this “dowry” looks a lot like child prostitution and statutory rape.
I have been participating in a program on the “Cultural Defense”: cases involving difficult cultural claims that courts have to address in the context of criminal or civil actions that range from rape to murder to fraud. Here, Martinez reportedly did not see the problem with the arrangement and did not believe that he was engaged in a crime. It was simply an arranged marriage in his eyes.
The dowry was composed of the following:
2. 100 cases of Corona
3. 50 cases of Modelo beer
4. several cases of meat
5. two cases of wine
6. 50 cases of Gatorade
7. 50 cases of soft drinks
This dowry seems a bit heavy on the liquid assets, but Martinez insisted that it was a traditional arrangement that was broken by Galindo.
Galindo is facing a charge of statutory rape while Martinez is facing a charge of receiving money for causing a person to cohabitate. Additional charges are possible.
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