Rosemarie Bodden, formerly Delatorre, was bailed on Friday to await the governor’s decision to extradite her to Hawaii for trial on charges dating from 2006-2008.
After a two-day hearing, Magistrate Grace Donalds found that it was not wrong, unjust or oppressive to return the defendant to the United States. Ms. Bodden, 60, faces charges of identity theft, theft, 15 counts of forgery, and fraudulent use of a credit card. She is accused of stealing more than $70,000 from an elderly woman she had been caring for in Hawaii. Dates of the alleged offenses are between 2006 and 2008. Ms. Bodden failed to attend her trial in Hawaii in September 2011 and a warrant was issued for her arrest. The elderly woman has since died.
Ms. Bodden, who told the court she had changed her name by deed poll back to her maiden name, also alleged in a previous hearing that it was her employer’s daughter who committed the thefts.
Ms. Bodden was arrested in Cayman in August 2017. Various hearings were scheduled since then, but she had missed several because she was in the hospital. Defense attorney Jonathon Hughes argued that she should not be extradited because of her physical and mental health issues, for which there was medical evidence provided to the court.
He noted that she was currently taking 10 different medications daily. She was frail and her support network was here in Cayman, including her family and her doctors.
Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards submitted statements from authorities in Hawaii which indicated that medical facilities there were equal if not superior to facilities in Cayman. She argued that Ms. Bodden’s condition of stress and anxiety was commonly found in persons facing trial.
Ms. Richards pointed out that if Ms. Bodden faced trial, she might not be convicted; if convicted, she might not be sentenced to custody; if she received a custodial sentence, it might not be for long.
In announcing her decision, the magistrate noted that extradition arrangements are governed by treaties between the U.S. and U.K. and extended to Cayman. They set out the specific process involved: only if the court was satisfied that one stage of that process was met could the matter proceed to the next stage. This included receiving documentary evidence from the governor that the extradition request had been made in the appropriate way and that the offenses alleged were in fact offenses in Cayman for which the penalty would be more than 12-months’ imprisonment.
The magistrate cited precedent cases in explaining that “unjust” had to do with the risk of prejudice to the accused in trial, while “oppressive” referred to hardship to the defendant because of changes in her circumstances.
The magistrate pointed out that there was strong public interest in respecting one’s treaty obligations.
Ms. Richards asked the magistrate to remind Ms. Bodden of her right to appeal.
The magistrate noted that previous bail conditions had included a surety in the sum of $15,000, reporting to police three times per week and surrender of passport. She added a further condition – that Ms. Bodden make herself available to authorities as and when required.