Laura Maldonado, an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, brought her 10-year-old son to an immigration office in Tampa, FL in 2006. Their legal status was unclear ever since her American husband of 15 months died in 2002.
At the Tampa USCIS office, Maldonado met an immigration officer, Jeffrey Bohn, who federal officers claim ended up visiting her for sex.
Bohn is on trial in U.S. District Court for being accused of lying about his relationship with Maldonado. Mr. Bohn’s alleged lying took place while he was applying to keep his national security clearance active.
In a translation of Maldonado’s courtroom testimony she said, “He told me he had seen me and he had fallen in love at first sight. He was in love with me and wanted to marry me. He started kissing me …”
Sara Sweeney, a federal prosecutor, said that U.S. Customs Citizenship and Immigration Services is staunchly against its employees having close contact with foreign nationals because of the possibility that biases would arise.
16 years ago, Maldonado illegally crossed the U.S. border with Mexico. According to marriage records from Hillsborough, FL, she married her late husband in April 2001.
On September 11, 2006, Bohn interviewed Maldonado. He stamped her son’s passport for another year and learned that she had illegally crossed the border.
Following the interview, Bohn called her cell phone. They met at a fast food restaurant and he soon came to her home.
Maldonado went on to say, “I never asked him to stop because I was afraid that he would take reprisals and he had my paperwork. I was afraid for myself and my son.”
Dionja Dyer, Bohn’s federal defender, claims that Maldonado created the allegations as a way to stay in the United States.
The prosecutor claims that there is DNA evidence linking the two.
When selecting the jury, jurors were asked how they felt about extramarital sex because Bohn was married at the time. The jury is made up of nine women and five men.