Terry Graham is fighting a losing battle.
Last July, the anti-immigration activist was in the audience for an immigration reform panel at North High School's auditorium where, she claimed, another audience member assaulted her ("Trial by Wire," March 3). The program was hosted by First Data Corp., a Greenwood Village-based corporation that makes millions of dollars every year from undocumented immigrants living in the United States who send money out of the country through Western Union, a First Data subsidiary.
When Graham charged -- loudly -- that the panel was skewed in favor of illegal immigration, several people came over and told her to shut up. Julissa Molina, a Mexican national, was the last to do so. An altercation ensued, with verbal exchanges escalating to a physical fight. Graham told police that during the melee, Molina pulled her hair and pushed her to the ground.
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On June 16, a six-member jury found Molina not guilty of assault and disturbing the peace.
"We had three days of trial, and it took a jury less than forty minutes to find the truth," says Frank Moya, Molina's attorney.
Moya's work isn't done yet, though. Graham has also filed a civil suit against Molina, First Data and the Hep-C Connection, where Molina worked at the time of the incident; the Denver nonprofit is partially funded by First Data and Western Union. Among other things, the suit claims that First Data created a hostile environment for anti-immigration activists, including those from the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, by stacking the panel that night. Moya, who advised Molina not to speak to Westword while the civil case is pending, has filed counter claims on his client's behalf.
"I'm stunned and I'm disappointed," Graham says of the Molina's not-guilty verdict. But she's not giving up. While the civil case works its way through the system, Graham continues to fight online, posting on various anti-illegal- immigration sites.