The man accused of killing 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts apparently feels that his ‘constitutional rights’ have been violated by law enforcement officials in Iowa.

Here’s the thing.

He’s not in the country legally… and now members of the Iowa legal system are debating how to proceed. 


25-year-old Christian Bahena Rivera stands accused of murdering college student Mollie Tibbetts last July. (Iowa Corrections)


Christian Bahena Rivera, a 25-year-old man from Mexico, was charged with murder after authorities say he confessed to killing the young woman in July of 2018. Tibbetts’ body was found in a cornfield in Poweshiek County, Iowa after a massive nationwide search operation. The suspect told police he confronted Tibbetts and she was jogging. When she told him to leave her alone or she would call the police, that’s when he chased after her and ‘blacked out’, not able to recall what happened next.

Bahena Rivera has reportedly been in the country since he crossed into U.S. soil as a child. 

Authorities say that he was living in an area of Iowa surrounded by ‘sanctuary’ cities, in which local law enforcement entities do not assist with immigration officials. According to reports, the man had a stolen ID and Social Security card and worked on a local Iowa dairy farm.


Chad and Jennifer Frese are representing Bahena Rivera in his murder trial. They claim that the suspect had his constitutional rights violated when local Iowa authorities questioned him without making it clear that he could have contacted the Mexican consulate before speaking to anyone.


In their statement they make Bahena Rivera out to be a victim, calling him, ‘confused, exhausted and vulnerable’ instead of the cold-blooded killer that he admitted to being.

“Providing this information to Bahena — a confused, exhausted and vulnerable Mexican national was seeking trustworthy help — would have triggered an invocation of consular notification and a decision to await the consulate’s assistance before making any other statements,” the defense attorneys said.

They claimed that Iowa police also did not read Bahena Rivera his miranda rights until 12-hours into the interview.

They say that because of these facts, his murder confession should be thrown out.

So, does the Constitution apply to non-citizens?

A lot of legal professionals say yes. 

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Undocumented man who killed Mollie Tibbetts: My constitutional rights were violated


The Fifth Amendment states that “no person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Experts say that the wording here is important, and that the word ‘person’ was used over the word ‘citizen’ throughout the document. They say the words apply to everyone on U.S. soil.

The 14th amendment, which grants equal protection under the law, is referenced by the Congressional committee that drafted it. 

“The last two clauses of the first section of the amendment disable a State from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State. This abolishes all class legislation in the States and does away with the injustice of subjecting one caste of persons to a code not applicable to another… . It [the 14th Amendment] will, if adopted by the States, forever disable every one of them from passing laws trenching upon those fundamental rights and privileges which pertain to citizens of the United States, and to all persons who may happen to be within their jurisdiction.”

But what about Mollie Tibbetts’ constitutional rights?


Mollie Tibbetts was attacked, killed and left in a cornfield. Now the defense attorneys in the case want the confession thrown out. (Facebook)


Another report claimed that in 2018, more than 200 American citizens sent letters to the court saying that undocumented migrants living in the U.S. do not have constitutional rights and therefore should not be awarded taxpayer money to pay for their defense.

But let’s take it a step further. Are we going to let a murderer (who clearly has no regard for our laws) walk free over these allegations? Are we going to let justice elude the Tibbetts family, who continues to grieve the loss of their child? 

Bahena Rivera has been held on a $5 million bond. The trial is set to begin on November 12. 


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