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Undocumented worker guilty of kicking York City woman in head
Jurors took about five hours to convict a man in a brutal assault of a woman in York City last summer, according to the man's prosecutor.
Uriel Escobar Lopez, 27, was found guilty Tuesday afternoon of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment, according to court records.
He is facing a possible state prison sentence when he's sentenced on Aug. 22, senior deputy prosecutor R.J. Fisher said.
Lopez remains in prison awaiting sentencing.
"The victim needed two staples to close a laceration on her head and had six sutures to close a laceration on her upper lip," Fisher said. "I indicated (to jurors) that it was a brutal attack by the defendant."
But defense attorney Clarence Allen said Lopez is innocent, and that one of his former co-workers committed the assault.
The attack: Court documents filed by York City Police state Lopez assaulted Tiffany D'Agostino in the 500 block of West Market Street shortly after 3 a.m. July 20.
Fisher said the victim was new to York City, had just recently met a couple members of Lopez's group and accepted an invitation to have a few drinks with them. They were hanging out at an apartment in the 600 block of West Market Street.
"She testified there had been a brief argument and that she had flicked a little bit of her drink at him with her fingers, and he tried to throw some beer on her," Fisher said. "She said ... the beer ended up spilling on him. She testified she believed he was upset about that."
Kicked in face: D'Agostino left and started walking home, then saw Lopez in an alley, according to Fisher.
"She didn't think much of seeing him there," the prosecutor said.
According to documents, Lopez hit her on the head with a beer bottle and knocked her to the ground.
"She indicated she fell down and covered her head with her arms, and he kicked her in the face," Fisher said.
Police said Lopez kicked D'Agostino in the face and head until she was unconscious.
Workers fled: Lopez was part of a six-man South Carolina-based work crew of Mexican immigrants in this country without work visas, Allen said, and they were in York doing some sort of construction work.
"They were here illegally, so they got afraid and disappeared the day after he was arrested. ... The others were smart enough to realize this (incident) could cause some complications for them," the defense attorney said. "After the incident, he could've done like the other ones did and left, and he wouldn't be in any trouble at all. But he felt he had no reason to run."
The five other work-crew members sent Allen written affidavits stating it was not Lopez who assaulted D'Agostino, according to Allen. But those affidavits were inadmissible at trial because the prosecution had no chance to cross-examine the people who wrote them, Allen confirmed.
Fisher said Lopez took the stand and told jurors it was someone else who assaulted D'Agostino, and that the assault was limited to a single punch or two.
Positive ID: But jurors clearly found D'Agostino's account more credible, and her extent of injuries backed up her version of events, according to the prosecutor. Court documents indicated she positively identified Lopez as her attacker.
Lopez is married with children. After he serves his prison sentence he will be deported, Allen said.
Lopez's felony conviction bars him from entering the United States again, according to Allen, who said he will argue for a county-prison sentence, rather than a longer state-prison sentence.
"He came here for a better life and a better-paying job," Allen said. "It's a sad story all around."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.