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Judge orders release of Mexican singer accused of rape

By the CNN Wire Staff
Kalimba was released Thursday after a judge determined there was not enough evidence to proceed with a rape trial.
Kalimba was released Thursday after a judge determined there was not enough evidence to proceed with a rape trial.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The judge says not enough evidence existed for a trial
  • Kalimba was deported from the United States last week
  • The pop star maintains his innocence
RELATED TOPICS
  • Mexico

Mexico City (CNN) -- A judge ordered the release Thursday of a popular Mexican singer accused of raping a teenager on grounds that not enough evidence existed for trial, state media said.

Prosecutors in the state of Quintana Roo alleged that Kalimba raped a 17-year-old girl in a hotel there in December.

Last week, the singer, whose full name is Kalimba Marichal Ibar, was deported from the United States to Mexico after an immigration violation in El Paso, Texas, U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said.

Kalimba maintained his innocence of the rape charges and said in an interview with CNN affiliate Televisa earlier this month that he had not attacked anyone.

"There are many details that are very easy to criticize, judge or imagine," he said, but he urged the public to use logic when considering the case, which has received extensive coverage in Mexican media.

In the Televisa interview, Kalimba declined to answer a question about whether he had sexual relations with the teen's consent.

"That I must testify before the prosecution and not on television," he said.

The teen's uncle has asked a state human rights commission to help protect the family, which he said has been demonized since reporting the rape allegations to authorities, according to Notimex, the Mexican news agency.

The 28-year-old singer is a former member of the group OV7 and also was the voice of Simba in a Spanish version of Disney's "The Lion King."

Fans gathered last week at the prison where he was being held and in Mexico City to show support.