Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Texas deputy accused of sexually assaulting girl, 4; threatening mom with deportation

Jose Nunez 47 Jose Nunez 47
Jeannette Daniel | 18 June, 2018, 20:50

Investigators with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office have arrested an off-duty detention deputy on a felony charge of sexual assault of a child. Nunez has worked for the Bexar County sheriff's office for over a decade. Officials suspect there may be more victims related to Nunez who were affected.

Salazar told reporters that "another heartbreaking aspect" of the case was that Nunez used the Guatemalan mother's undocumented immigrant status "to his advantage" to keep her quiet.

The charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child means that the alleged victim is under the age of 6, which allows for a harsher sentence structure in Texas.

The girl "made an outcry" to her mom sometime overnight Sunday, Salazar said.

Investigators believe Nunez may have sexually assaulted other relatives as well.

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Salazar said Nunez touched the girl's genitals and hurt her. "Certainly what was appealing was the vulnerability of that community because they are less apt to report things".

The mother's hesitance to report the crime underscores long-running concerns that undocumented immigrants are reluctant to engage with law enforcement out of fear of deportation, Salazar said. "If you break the law, you are going to jail".

"Just like we are doing in this case, we are filling out paperwork with this witness in question to make sure that she's given protected status pending the outcome of this case", Salazar said. Then we're going to quite frankly, get them out of here.

Nunez, who is a 10-year veteran of the sheriff's office, engaged in physical contact with the child's genital area "which caused pain", Salazar said, adding there was "at least some indication of minor injury". Internal affairs will also be conducting a separate, but concurrent investigation. "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".

Nunez has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

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