US immigration

Texas officer ‘sexually assaulted four-year-old girl and told her mum he would deport her if she reported him’

Accused sheriff’s deputy had allegedly been assaulting the girl for months and threatening her undocumented immigrant mother

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 June, 2018, 1:20am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 June, 2018, 3:46am

A sheriff’s deputy in Texas has been charged with sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl and threatening her immigrant mother with deportation if she reported his crime.

The accused officer, Jose Nunez, is a sheriff’s deputy who worked in the jail system in Bexar County, about 150 miles (240km) from the US-Mexico border. He was said to be related to the victim.

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Nunez, 47, allegedly assaulted the girl for months, if not years, and threatened the girl’s undocumented immigrant mother with deportation to ensure her silence, County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Sunday. The mother and child were not in government custody at the time of the abuse.

“The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar told a news conference.

“We also have reason to believe there may have been other children that were related to this suspect and may have had contact with him.”

Salazar urged others in southeast Texas’s immigrant community to report any abuse.

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The alleged assaults came to light when the mother took her crying daughter to a fire station for help. Police were working to obtain so-called “protected status” for the mother as the case against Nunez proceeds.

Nunez, a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, is charged with “super aggravated sexual assault of a child”. If convicted, he would face a minimum 25-year prison sentence.