Posted on December 15, 2004

Woman’s Ordeal In Mexican Prison Over

Gregory Alan Gross, San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 12

More than a year and a half after being arrested in Ensenada for possessing prescription medicines without a prescription, Dawn Marie Wilson is free.


An avid sailor, Wilson was living aboard a trimaran with Kennedy off the Baja California coast when she was stopped April 12, 2003, and searched by police in Ensenada, who accused her of hitchhiking.

She’d been walking to a mechanic’s shop in Ensenada to check on her car, which had been damaged in a crash the day before.

Wilson was arrested after officers searched her bag and found a three-month supply of Dilantin, an anti-seizure medication, as well as diet pills she was delivering to a friend. She was found guilty by a Mexican federal judge — there are no jury trials in Mexico — and sentenced to five years in prison.

“She was originally stopped by cops who liked the way she looked, and then they took her credit cards. A typical shakedown,” Filner said. “Then apparently a different police group showed up, and the first group had to arrest her to justify their own crimes.”

Things turned even more bizarre after that, Filner said.

“They put papers in front of her that she couldn’t understand and had her sign them. She thought she was signing a statement of fact,” said Filner.

In reality, what the authorities made her sign was a confession, he said.

“She got a lawyer who stole her money. We got a reputable lawyer for her,” Filner said. “We tried to talk with officials in Baja California, but it’s very, very difficult.”