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Facing Sex Charges, Kid Vegas Fights Extradition From Canada

Facing Sex Charges, Kid Vegas Fights Extradition From Canada
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Oct 17, 2005 12:20 PM PDT    Text size: 
NIAGARA, Canada — American adult performer Scott Austin, aka Kid Vegas, has applied for refugee status in Canada in order to avoid extradition to the U.S., where he faces sexual assault charges.

Austin was detained earlier this year by customs officials at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after they ran a check on his passport and discovered he had skipped bail in Nevada shortly before he was to stand trial for felony sexual assault.

Austin, director of such adult films as “Kid Vegas: Whoremaster” and “Kid Vegas: Trenchcoat Pornographer,” is accused of sexually assaulting one of his co-stars at a private party not related to any particular production or production companies.

He has had several homes since being introduced to the Canadian prison system, including the Toronto West Detention Centre and the maximum-security Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay. He’s now a guest of the Niagara Detention Centre, where he says he will be happy to remain indefinitely as long as it keeps him out of a Dye County courtroom in Beatty, Nev.

The problem, Austin claims, is that he can’t get a fair trial in Beatty, a town of about 1,200 people, where Lt. Frank Jarvis of the Dye County Sheriff’s Office admits, “Everyone pretty well knows everyone.”

Austin’s mother, Kathleen Vigil, says the closeness extends to the Dye County legal system, where the Beatty’s two top defense attorneys have dropped her son’s case because they know the accuser’s family members.

She says the courthouse’s only two judges are similarly connected: one has a niece who is listed as a witness for the prosecution, the other allegedly helped the accuser’s mother get a job with the county, according to Vigil.

Austin says the odds are poisoned against him and, due to the seriousness of the charges against him, a conviction could send him to prison for life, several times over. So he applied for refugee status, a claim that was denied on Sept. 23, when the Canada Border Service Agency determined he did not qualify for such status under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

The Border Service now lists Austin as “removal ready,” meaning he could be extradited, but he still has several options to delay his extradition, and he plans to use them.

Austin says he plans to request a “pre-removal review” of his case by the Border Service and, if that fails, a judicial review in federal court. He has asked Canada’s legal aid service for help in pleading his case, but Elaine Gamble, a spokesperson for the agency, said his request probably won’t be given priority status.

“We have a list of countries where we have dire concerns,” Gamble said. “Countries like Iran and Iraq, for example. But the United States is not on that list.”

Austin’s next immigration hearing is scheduled for the first week in November.

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