After nearly a year of “preventative detention” in a Costa Rica prison, Dave Strecker expects to receive his day in court. The crime, allegedly promoting Costa Rica as an accessible destination for sexual tourism. In other words the collective resources of a nation of 4.8 million people have been invested in tracking down, arresting and imprisoning a 65 year old man from Florida who uploaded some videos on Facebook about his vacation in Costa Rica.
Dave received the news last week when his jailers brought him before a judge, who announced they were ready have a trial that day. Since dismissing his private attorneys in May, Dave has had very little contact with his public defender. Dave explained the lack of legal preparation, and asked for time to hire a new attorney. He is now scheduled to receive trial on September 8th.
With the help of donations Dave has been able to raise a total of $6,500. The majority of this money, $5,000 paid for a series of legal challenges to his year of preventative detention. Although these efforts were unsuccessful in getting Dave released, his conditions improved substantially when he was moved from the San Sebastian prison to a center for elderly inmates at La Reforma in Alajuela. Recently the Poder Judicial ordered that prison authorities close the infamously overcrowded San Sebastian prison.
Had Dave not been represented by a private attorney and his case not watched so closely by the media, it’s very likely that he would still be languishing with the mosquitoes, and sleeping on the floor at San Sebastian. His attorneys continued to challenge the lack of evidence on the part of prosecutors and pushed hard for his release, month after month at pretrial hearings. At least now the prosecutor is being compelled to make their case.
Dave Needs Your Help
Again Dave needs your help to end his ordeal in Costa Rica and come home to the United States. He has a total of $1,500 in his legal fund. A private attorney has offered to represent him at trial for $3,000. Dave needs to raise the $1,500 in just 10 days.
While it is difficult to believe Dave will receive a fair trial in Costa Rica, it is important that he receive a competent defense. The law that he is charged with breaking is untested. Not a single person has ever been convicted under the entire 2012 law designed to combat human trafficking. The legislation was supposedly passed to break organized crime and solve a difficult social problem in Costa Rica.
However, instead of actually doing their jobs and fighting crime the civil servants at the Poder Judicial would prefer to collect economic assistance from the US government while making a show of putting tourists on trial for talking on the Internet. With little evidence against him a competent attorney should be able to get the case dismissed.
If you have donated in the past, then now is more important than ever to send money to help Dave. All of the money donated will fund this very important, and hopefully final legal expense in Costa Rica.