Posted on January 10, 2005

Mexican Charged with Assault at Immigration Forum Sues Victim

Press release from Terry Graham, January 8, 2005

Denver — A Mexican national charged with assaulting an American woman during an immigration forum held in Denver last July by First Data Corporation/Western Union has filed a counter lawsuit in Denver District Court claiming she was the victim in the assault.

Julissa Molina Soto, 32, is charging Terry Graham with assault and battery, extreme and outrageous conduct, and malicious prosecution, seeking damages from Graham for alleged severe emotional distress, economic losses, and attorneys fees.

Molina Soto is scheduled to appear in Denver District Court on January 12 to enter a plea in the criminal charges against her for assaulting Terry Graham during at the forum. Denver immigration attorney Jeff Joseph is representing Molina Soto in the criminal case.

Denver police arrested Molina Soto immediately following that assault. No criminal charges were filed against Graham, who filed a civil lawsuit against Molina and other defendants last October. Molina Soto pled guilty to child abuse in 1999.

“Molina Soto’s countersuit is clearly a legal strategy to divert attention from criminal charges filed against her by the Denver District Attorney as well as our civil lawsuit,” said Denver attorney Robert J. Corry, Jr., Graham’s lawyer. “We are confident, based upon the facts, that Soto’s counterclaim will ultimately be dismissed,” he said. Frank Moya is representing Molina Soto in the civil lawsuit.

While Graham was being seen by paramedics, First Data Foundation Director Polly Baca and ACLU lawyer Adrienne Benavidez assured the forum’s largely Latino audience from the podium that Molina Soto would have legal representation.

Graham, who was participating in the forum from the audience, was seated alone in Denver’s North High School auditorium when Molina Soto entered the aisle and began threatening her for statements she was making in support of the enforcement of immigration laws. When Graham continued to engage forum panelists, Molina Soto grabbed her tape recorder and proceeded to assault her, knocking her to the ground. Graham suffered head and neck injuries, as well as numerous bruises in the attack.

First Data Corporation has taken the lead in promoting massive immigration and immigrants’ rights — including illegal aliens — since settling lawsuits charging that its subsidiary, Western Union, failed to disclose unreasonably high commissions it charged when wiring customers’ money to Mexico.

In March 2004 First Data/Western Union set up a $10 million “Empowerment Fund” to be used for Latino and pro-immigration causes. First Data CEO Charles Fote announced last April that $800,000 of the Empowerment Fund would be used to create a Denver pilot program to support and increase the number of Latino business owners.

[Editor’s Note: For more on this story, click here.]