A sheriff’s deputy in Texas sexually assaulted a 4-year-old girl and threatened to deport her mother if she reported him, authorities said.
Jose Nunez, a 10-year veteran detention officer for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested Sunday after the girl “made an outcry” to her mother late Saturday, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters during a news conference. The girl’s mother then took her to a fire station to report the alleged assaults, he said.
“The details of the case are, quite frankly, heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar said.
Nunez, 47, is accused of inappropriately touching the girl – who is related to him – at her residence on a number of occasions for several months, possibly as long as two years. Investigators believe there may be additional victims who are also related to Nunez, Salazar said.
Nunez allegedly threatened the girl’s mother — an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala — with deportation if she ever reported the assaults to authorities.
“Now that’s something in law enforcement we’ve been saying for some time, that that’s always a concern in the undocumented community,” Salazar said. “I would urge anybody that may be undocumented that is a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime to please come forward to report it.”
Salazar said deputies are working to ensure that the girl’s mother receives protected status as the case proceeds. He declined to comment on the girl’s residency status.
Nunez, who has been placed on administrative leave, faces a felony charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison, Salazar said.
Nunez has been placed on administrative leave, during which 10 days are paid, Salazar said, adding that he intends to “separate” him from the agency as soon as possible.