Texas deputy sexually abused undocumented immigrant girl, 4, sheriff says

Texas deputy sexually abused undocumented immigrant girl, 4, sheriff says

A Texas sheriff's deputy allegedly threatened to deport the mother of a young child he's accused of sexually assaulting.

"The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking", Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

Salazar said that Nunez had family ties to the woman and her daughter, but that their relationship is unclear. It's believed the sexual assault had been going on for the past few months, possibly years.

Nunez, who worked for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office for 10 years, silenced the mother of the child by threatening to reveal her undocumented status and deport her back to Guatemala if she reported the assault. He has been charged with super aggravated sexual assault; a charge applied when the victim is less than six years old. The felony charge carries a minimum 25-year sentence if he is convicted.

He said that his department is "filling out paperwork" to ensure that the mother is treated as a witness, and given "protected status pending the outcome of this case", which would allow her to remain in the US.

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Salazar says the victim, who is 4, cried out to her mother Saturday night.

'Certainly I think what appealed to him, in this case anyway, is the vulnerability of that community because of the fact that they're less apt to report things'. He also said there could be other victims.

Immigrant rights groups say Texas' Senate Bill 4, which was passed a year ago, has created an atmosphere of anxiety and apprehension among the undocumented who don't want to go to local law enforcement for crimes due to their citizenship status.

The identities of the child and her mother were not released by law enforcement. He has been put on administrative leave from the agency, of which the first 10 days are paid. The sheriff said authorities believe Nunez is related to the child victim.

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