Man convicted of hiring prostitute may face deportation

Published 6:47 am Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Austin man convicted last month of hiring a 17-year-old prostitute in May 2009 could now also possibly face deportation.

Catalino Hernandez-Rojas, 24, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of felony forgery for using an alias to work illegally in the U.S. The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which handles deportation, has a hold on Hernandez-Rojas as he awaits sentencing locally. Records indicate that Hernandez-Rojas was previously deported in August 2004.

On March 26, Hernandez-Rojas was sentenced to 365 days in jail by judge Fred Wellmann for hiring the 17-year-old prostitute and taking her to the Sterling Motel on May 24 of last year.

During that incident, the girl allegedly stole his shorts — which were holding $400 cash and a wedding ring — while he was putting on a condom, then fled with another woman in a vehicle, according to a criminal complaint.

However, Hernandez-Rojas’ troubles were only just beginning. Charges were first filed against a “Carlos Lennin Batista-Quintana” in the prostitution case, but while conducting a pre-sentence investigation in March, an officer discovered that the real Batista-Quintana passed away in early 2009.

After some questioning, Hernandez-Rojas admitted that he was a Mexican citizen who had assumed the false identity about four or five years ago, the complaint states.

He said he used Batista-Quintana’s birth certificate and Social Security card to get Minnesota identification, which he parlayed into a job at Albert Lea Select foods.