A Texas sheriff deputy, 47-year-old Jose Nunez, has been arrested over allegations of sexually assaulting a young girl. He is being charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child. Nunez has worked for the Bexar County sheriff’s office for over a decade. The child’s mother is reportedly undocumented, and Nunez apparently told the mother that he would have her mother deported if she spoke out.
“The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Sheriff Javier Salazar said.
However, the girl “made an outcry” to her mother on Sunday night, according to Dallas News. Although the mother had been blackmailed to stay silent, this was the last straw. She decided to file a report with authorities. By 4 a.m. that following day, Nunez had been arrested. And to ensure that the mother cannot be deported immediately back to her home country of Guatemala, the sheriff’s office is working on getting her protected status during the criminal investigation.
Investigators believe that the assaults took place on several occasions over several months, or perhaps even years. And although the mother had previously confronted Nunez, he simply threatened her with deportation to keep her quiet. Salazar made further speculations about the case.
“Folks like this are creatures of habit and opportunity. I don’t know that he was purposely targeting the undocumented community. Certainly what was appealing was the vulnerability of that community because they are less apt to report things.”
And in the wake of the allegations, Nunez is reaching out to the undocumented community to come forward if they are being abused and blackmailed, according to the San Antonio Express News.
For many undocumented people, the fear of deportation keeps them from reporting crime to police, according to KSAT. However, Salazar is being clear about the consequences of anyone who breaks the law.
“We will absolutely arrest you if you break the law and it doesn’t matter if you wear a uniform, if you carry a badge, if you carry a gun. If you break the law, you are going to jail.”
And perhaps it’s the abuse of power that is the most disturbing aspect of this situation. The girl is just 4-years-old right now, and if the abuse had been going on for years, it could have started when the child was incredibly young.
It’s unknown whether there are additional victims, but it appears that Salazar and the investigators believe that there could be more people out there who have been placed in a similarly horrible situation.