An illegal immigrant from Mexico who is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl on a Greyhound bus in Kansas had previously left and returned to the United States a combined 19 times.
Tomas Martinez-Maldonado, 38, had been deported 10 times and voluntarily removed another nine times, reports ABC News.
He is now charged with a felony for the September 27 incident, and three U.S. Republican senators asked the Department of Homeland Security for immigration records for Martinez-Maldonado. Senate Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley co-signed a December 9 letter with fellow Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts that was delivered to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, expressing that the situation was "an extremely disturbing case" and inquired how Martinez-Maldonado was able to leave and re-enter the country over a dozen times.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requested that the Geary County jail turn over Martinez-Maldonado before he is released from their custody, but refused to discuss the details of his case.
Reports also show Martinez-Maldonado was charged with two misdemeanor convictions for entering the country illegally in 2013 and 2013 and was sentenced to jail time in Arizona. He was deported after serving his time on both occasions.
A status hearing in the current rape case is scheduled for January 10.
Sen. Moran told the Associated Press that the current immigration system is broken. "There must be serious legislative efforts to address U.S. immigration policy, and we must have the ability to identify, prosecute and deport illegal aliens who display violent tendencies before they have an opportunity to perpetrate these crimes in the United States," he said.