A more than a decade-old story involving a former Dayton restaurateur’s journey through the criminal justice system seems to have come to a close in the U.S.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson has confirmed that Eva Christian, founder and owner of the now-defunct Café Boulevard in the Oregon District, has been deported to Germany. According to the ICE source who requested their identity remain anonymous, Christian returned to Germany on May 6 “via commercial air.”
That spokesperson said Christian’s case is now closed.
Christian founded and owned Cafe Boulevard (later Boulevard Haus) for nearly 15 years in space that now houses Lily’s Dayton. She also founded a second restaurant, Cena Brazilian Steakhouse, which was located in front of the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. She was convicted in May 2012 of five criminal counts after masterminding a scheme to hire others in 2009 to set her Dayton Mall restaurant on fire, and later trying to set it on fire herself; and also staging a break-in at her Washington Twp. residence, all in order to collect insurance money.
Although she had lived in the U.S. for decades, Christian, formerly of Washington Twp., was not an American citizen. She was born in Croatia and raised in Germany, and has German citizenship.
After Christian’s eight-year sentence in the Ohio prison system ended in Sept. 2020, she faced deportation. Those with a Green Card and permanent resident status can have that status revoked for serious criminal activity and convictions.
In March, the Dayton Daily News reported that a U.S. immigration judge ordered the deportation of Christian, though Christian filed an appeal to that order while she remained in custody at the Butler County Jail.
“Eva Christian, an unlawfully present citizen of Germany, was issued a final order of removal by a federal immigration judge” on Dec. 1, Shawn Neudauer, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, told the Dayton Daily News in March.
Christian also filed a separate federal lawsuit in an attempt to be freed from jail due to a medical condition, however, that lawsuit was rejected by a magistrate earlier that same month.