Police: Undocumented immigrant kicks pregnant girlfriend, declares he wants baby dead

Denis Cruz Lemus, 19, of Aspen Hill. (Courtesy of Montgomery County Police Department)

ASPEN HILL, Md. (WJLA) — A drunken teenager living in the U.S. illegally is accused of kicking his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach and slamming her head against a wall in an attempt to cause a miscarriage.

Denis Cruz Lemus, 19, of Aspen Hill, is charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and false imprisonment.

According to the criminal statement of charges on file in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Lemus was "drinking heavily" at a party on November 23. The level of booze in Lemus' system triggered a verbal argument with his pregnant girlfriend, who ended up spending the night at her mother's home.

The following morning, Lemus' girlfriend returned to the single-family home the couple shared along Aspen Hill Road. Within minutes, a quarrel re-ignited. This time, however, Lemus allegedly hit his girlfriend, tossed her to the ground and repeatedly kicked her in the stomach. Police explain Lemus made remarks about wanting to end the three-month pregnancy during the physical encounter.

While trying to flee, Lemus allegedly grabbed hold of his girlfriend's head and slammed it against the corner of a solid wall. That impact caused the woman to sustain a cut to her head. When officers arrived, they noted a "substantial amount of blood" on the wall, carpet, and all over the woman's clothing and body. Lemus was nowhere to be found, but was arrested a few days later.

Paramedics transported the pregnant woman to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring for medical treatment. It is not currently clear if the assault had any impact on her unborn child.

According to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Lemus is a native of Honduras living in the United States illegally. ICE has lodged a detainer against the 19-year-old who remains in Montgomery County custody.

Criminal defense attorney Patrick Hanifin is representing Lemus. Hanifin told WJLA by email:

"My firm is still in the process of reviewing all the relevant documentation and information regarding this matter. We have not been made aware of any serious or permanent injury to [the victim]or the baby. Our client has the full support of his family and friends."

Lemus' trial is scheduled to begin on April 23, in Montgomery County Circuit Court. He faces up to 35 years in prison.

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