Jose Nunez, a 10-year Bexar County Sheriff's Office veteran who served as a detention officer, has been charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child, Sheriff Javier Salazar said Sunday at a news conference.
Investigators say the suspect blackmailed the mother by threatening to report her undocumented immigration status to federal officials.
"The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting, and infuriating all at the same time, to be honest with you", Bexar Co.
"That's always a concern in the undocumented community", Salazar said.
The mother, who is originally from Guatemala, had sought help from a local firehouse after the girl cried out for help at around 03:00 local time on Sunday.More news: XXXTentacion shot in Miami, has no pulse, TMZ reports
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"The little girl now is safe and we're continuing to process the case", Salazar said. If found guilty, he could face a minimum of 25 years behind bars.
Nunez has been placed on administrative leave, during which 10 days are paid, Salazar said.
Nunez was caught after the child, who had been suffering from physical pain, "made an outcry", prompting her mother to take her to a fire station for help. By 4 a.m. that following day, Nunez had been arrested. Senate Bill 4 went into effect this year after months of legal wrangling. He said Nunez has "familial ties" to the mother and child, but did not provide additional information on the relationship, NBC News reported.
Police have not released the victim's residency status and the mother has been given a protected status in the case. "Certainly what was appealing was the vulnerability of that community because they are less apt to report things".
Authorities launched an investigation into the case and eventually obtained enough evidence to arrest Nunez.
Still, Salazar encouraged victims of crimes to report it, regardless of their citizenship status.