Texas sheriff's deputy held for sexually assaulting 4-year-old relative and threatening to deport her undocumented mother
Bexar County Sheriff's Office has urged all undocumented immigrants in the county, whether victim or witness, to come forward regardless of what their residency status is
A sheriff's deputy in Texas was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting his four-year-old relative and threatening her mother (an undocumented immigrant) with deportation, reports said.
Jose Nunez of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office was arrested this Sunday morning after a warrant for "super aggravated sexual assault" (still pending the formal charges) was issued against him
The 47-year-old detention deputy was off-duty at the time of his arrest and has been charged for inappropriately touching the victim's private parts on multiple instances and causing "at least some indication of minor injury" on one occasion, said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar. He added that the child's sexual abuse may have gone for up to at least two years and believes there could be more victims as well.
Nunez, who had been working at the Bexar County Sheriff's Office for over a decade, managed to emotionally blackmail the mother and the victim by threatening to reveal her (mother's) illegal immigrant status to the concerned authorities and getting her deported back to her home country of Guatemala, if she spoke of the assault on her child.
The identities of both the victim and her mother have been withheld for safety reasons by the authorities, who are yet to release the status of the victim's residency in the country; It is still not clear how Nunez and the child are related.
According to the Washington Post, after the young girl "made an outcry to her mom", the matter was reported to authorities on the evening of June 16. The accused was arrested early next morning at around 3 am and is currently being held without bail. At a press conference held later on, Sheriff Salazar reportedly said, "The details of the case are, quite frankly, heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time."
He added, "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."
Meanwhile, the victim's mother has been granted a protected status because the case is still open. If a guilty verdict is reached in the case, Nunez will be imprisoned for a minimum of 25 years.
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 has been put on administrative leave while the investigation is still in process.
Salazar urged all undocumented immigrants in the country, who are victims of crimes or who have witnessed a crime, to come forward regardless of what their residency status is.
In a similar incident reported last week, 49-year-old Brian Rambo was sentenced to a total of 218 years in prison in a trial that lasted three days at the 46th Judicial District Court of Hardeman County, Tennessee.
Rambo, a former Chillicothe City Council member, was found guilty on two counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child by contact in less than 45 minutes.
A 15-year-old resident of Chillicothe had reported Rambo to the Hardeman County Sheriff's Office on October 3, 2017. In her statement the teen revealed the accused had sexually assaulted her in 2008, when she was just six-years-old. The victim in this case was friends with one of the accused's relatives and the kids often spent time at the latter's residence.
Remembering the day, she revealed to the authorites how it all started when she had been sitting on Rambo's lap and playing a game on the computer. She also told them of the time when the accused had asked her if she wanted to "feel something good" and, being a child, she said that she did.
The accused then took her into his bedroom, stripped her naked and then proceeded to sexually assault her. The abuse lasted for a few months but the victim did not speak of it for some years but she testified against him when she spotted him at a school in the nearby area.
The victim said that seeing Rambo made her feel anxious and furious about what he had done to her as a child.
The teenage girl finally opened up about her ordeal to her mother, who immediately reported the matter to the authorities. Her revelation resulted in a detailed investigation on the disgraced councilman and his past activities.
Speaking of the incident, District Attorney Staley Heatly said, "I need to acknowledge the incredible amount of time and effort put into this investigation by DA Investigator Jeff Case. He traveled all over the area with Hardeman County Chief Deputy Michael Burrows interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence. Jeff helped put together a strong case that brought this serial child abuser to justice."
While the guilt-innocence phase of the three-day trial was in process, three of Rambo's former victims also came forward and testified against him. They had been sexually abused by the accused between the years 2008-2014. Of these three victims, one was Rambo's relative. During the three-day trial the jury listened to the testimonies of seven other victims including four boys and three girls - all of whom had been victims of Rambo's sexual abuse.
The jurors deliberated for half an hour and held the accused guilty. The punishment for the accused was set at the maximum sentence that was allowed in each of the three counts. District Judge Dame Mike Bird then proceeded to stack up the sentences of 99 years (initial victim, who reported the matter), 99 years (three other victims, who came forward) and then 20 years (for the four male victims). Total sentence was announced to be 218 years.
DA Heatly further went on to say that Rambo will never be freed from prison as long as he lives. "He will never have the chance to sexually abuse another child in his life. Our community and our children are much safer now that Brian Rambo is not a part of it,", she was quoted as saying.