Crime

Ex-Miami exchange student charged in sexual-abuse case gets house arrest

Arraignment for Marta San Jose

Arraignment for Marta San Jose, the former foreign-exchange student accused of helping her host abuse her own younger sister. Prosecutors are expected to file formal charges on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.​
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Arraignment for Marta San Jose, the former foreign-exchange student accused of helping her host abuse her own younger sister. Prosecutors are expected to file formal charges on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.​

A former Spanish foreign-exchange student accused of sexually abusing her own underage sister with her one-time American host is getting out of jail on house arrest.

A judge on Tuesday granted Marta San Jose the house arrest after her mother moved to Miami to be with the 21-year-old.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has still not decided whether to formally charge San Jose. Another hearing is set for two weeks.

San Jose and her former host, Dale Leary, were arrested in June after police said they lured the young woman’s underage sister to their Cutler Bay home, where she was manipulated into performing sex acts and illicit photo shoots.

San Jose’s defense attorney, Jorge Viera, says she was brainwashed by Leary and needs therapy. “I’m grateful she’s going to be with her mother,” Viera said.

Leary later killed himself shortly after posting bail to await trial, a bizarre twist to an already unusual case.

Detectives are still conducting a far-reaching investigation into Leary, a tech and advertising consultant who hosted numerous foreign-exchange students along with his wife, Claudia Leary, a Miami-Dade schools administrator.

San Jose was placed at their home in 2013, and the couple later convinced her parents to allow her to remain in Miami. Unbeknownst to her family, Claudia Leary divorced her husband, who turned around and married San Jose days after she turned 18.

Claudia remained in the Cutler Bay home. She tried killing herself too but survived. Police are now investigating what role she may have played in Leary’s conduct with foreign-exchange students.

San Jose and other students were placed in the Leary home by CCI Greenheart, a foreign-exchange non-profit based in Chicago. The students were allowed into the home despite Leary’s felony conviction for a sex attack stemming from the mid-1980s.

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