A Texas detention deputy accused of having sexually assaulted a young child whose mother is undocumented has been arrested.
Jose Nunez, a 10-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested Sunday and charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child, who is possibly a relative, according to Sheriff Javier Salazar. The charge is considered “super” because the victim is only 4 years old.
Salazar said police were notified after the girl’s mother brought her to a local fire station after she cried out for help. While the case is ongoing, Salazar said investigators believe the abuse by Nunez, 47, had been ongoing for several months – if not several years.
He said she had also suffered minor injuries from the alleged assault.
“The details of the case are, quite frankly, heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar said at a news conference.
At the time of his arrest, Nunez was assigned to the annex jail, KSAT-TV reported.
Nunez threatened the girl’s mother, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, with deportation if she reported him, Salazar said.
He said investigators are working with the mother to complete paperwork in a way that ensures she has a protected status “pending the outcome of this case.” It’s unclear if the young girl is a U.S. citizen.
Nunez is being held without bail. If convicted, he would face a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Salazar said investigators believe there could be other victims and encouraged parents, including those in the undocumented community, to come forward if their children had contact with Nunez.
The Bexar police department is “not afraid to do the right thing,” Salazar said, adding that his “objective” is to remove Nunez from the force.
“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’re going to jail,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.