47-year-old Bexar County Sheriff’s Department deputy Jose Nunez has been arrested on a felony charge involving sexual assault of a child, reports NBC News. Nunez is a detention deputy who threatened the child’s mother — an undocumented immigrant — with deportation if she told anyone about the abuse.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar reveled that Nunez is being charged with “super aggravated sexual assault” — a charge applied when the victim is less than six years old. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.
The victim’s mother appealed to a local fire station for help on Saturday night after her daughter cried out to her out of pain. Investigators took swift action and brought Nunez in early Sunday morning.
“The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar told the news outlet, adding that Nunez has familial ties with the victims (though their relationship remains unclear). The sheriff believes the abuse goes back months or possibly years and that there are likely other victims.
“This suspect utilized to his advantage to place the mother in fear that she would be deported if she did report it,” said Salazar, making sure to mention that the “little girl now is safe.”
“When one person or persons individually demonstrate like they did in this case that they’re not worthy to be part of this agency, then we’re going to, quite frankly, get them out of here. Cut them out like cancer. And that’s what’s going to happen in this case,” said the sheriff.
The Bexar County Police Department is petitioning to get the mother protected status pending the outcome of the case. In the meantime, Sheriff Salazar encourages undocumented immigrants to step forward and report crimes
“(We ask) victims of a crime or a witness to a crime to please come forward and report it. Just like we’re doing in this case, we’re filling out paperwork with this witness in question to make sure that she’s given protected status pending the outcome of this case,” he said.
This news comes as the Trump administration faces heightening criticism over their zero-tolerance immigration policy wherein children are separated from their families with no legal or moral recourse for reunion. According to the Associated Press, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policy has resulted in the separation of over 2,000 children from their parents — from mid-April to the end of May alone.
assume what they aren’t showing is worse https://t.co/xBrja1ECfh
— Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@AyeshaASiddiqi) June 18, 2018
This incident also raises concerns about possibility for similar abuses being perpetrated against children now that 1,500 of them are missing, democratically elected politicians and journalists are barred from entering detention facilities, and there are literally no regulations regarding the people in charge of running these overcrowded, underfunded warehouses.
Are we great again yet?