Freed assault victim in danger of being deported

BROOKLYN - A man who claims he was brutally attacked for being gay has been cleared of all charges that he assaulted the same men that he says beat him up. Now Ricardo Muniz, free after spending 18 months behind bars, is in danger of being deported back to Mexico since he is an undocumented immmigrant.

Muniz claims he was attacked in the summer of 2009 by two men, who followed him and his friends home after leaving a bar, taunting him with anti-gay slurs. Muniz filed a police report, but he was arrested for allegedly attacking the two men and had been at Rikers Island until he was released.

Muniz's lawyers say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials placed a detainer while he was in jail, and after he was found not guilty of all charges, he was turned over to immigration, who then released him. They intend to request that the case be investigated as a hate crime, as they believe it will increase his chances of remaining in the United States.

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