Deputy accused of sexually abusing toddler and threatening her undocumented mother with deportation dies in an apparent suicide
According to the reports from the sheriff's office, 47-year-old Nunez had appeared to have committed suicide but it did not mention where in the jail or how he did it.
A sheriff's deputy from Texas who had been accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening the child's undocumented mother with deportation if she filed a complaint against him, has died in prison from an apparent suicide. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office has said that 47-year-old Jose Nunez had been pronounced dead before 6 p.m. on August 20 at the Karnes County Correctional Center where he had been held since June this year. According to the reports from the sheriff's office, Nunez had appeared to have committed suicide but it did not mention where in the jail or how he did it. The detention deputy had been off-duty at the time of his arrest and was charged for inappropriately touching the victim's private parts on multiple instances and causing "at least some indication of minor injury" on one occasion.
Nunez had been with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office for 10 years before he was arrested and assigned to the jail in the same county. The arrest took place on June 17 on a charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. The county sheriff, Javier Salazar, said at the time of the arrest that the child abuse had happened for a time that lasted between a few months and two years, reported the Daily Mail.
BREAKING: The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said an inmate who was being held at the Karnes County Detention Center died on Monday. https://t.co/fbPOLshiVb— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) August 21, 2018
The authorities also said that Nunez had threatened the mother with deportation if she filed a complaint against him. She is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. In spite of the threats that he made against the mother, she took her daughter to the local fire station to report the abuse after the daughter "made an outcry to her mom".
Salazar had said in a press conference after Nunez was arrested: "The details of the case are, quite frankly, heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time. Folks like this are creatures of habit and opportunity. I don’t know that he was purposely targeting the undocumented community. 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."
The victim's mother had been granted protected status because the case was still open. The charge of "super aggravated assault of a child" means that the victim falls under the age of six and as per the law in Texas, the accused can be tried for a stricter sentence for the crime. Nunez had been put on administrative leave while the investigation was still in process. If he had been convicted at the trial, Nunez could have faced a minimum of 25 years in prison.