Jose Nunez, a 10-year veteran detention officer for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, was arrested Sunday after the girl "made an outcry" to her mother late Saturday, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters during a news conference.
Nunez has served the Bexar County Sheriff's Office for more than 10 years.More news: To prosecute migrants, 'you have to take the children away'
The sheriff said investigators have reason to believe there may be more child victims, and that the abuse may have taken place over months or years.
Nunez threatened the girl's mother, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, with deportation if she reported him, Salazar said.
Jose Nunez, 47, was arrested after he allegedly sexually assaulted the little girl, who told her mother Nunez touched her inappropriately and hurt her. Nunez will face a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted of the sexual assault. He declined to comment on the girl's residency status. Police were working to obtain so-called "protected status" for the mother as the case against Nunez proceeds. I don't know that he was purposely targeting the undocumented community.More news: Harry Kane late victor helps England beat Tunisia 2-1
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 disgusting situation. "That's always a concern in the undocumented community".
It was "another heartbreaking aspect to this case", he said. The law even provides the authority to local law enforcement agencies to create "outreach activities to educate the public that a peace officer may not inquire into the immigration status of a victim of or witness to an alleged criminal offense". He urged any other undocumented citizens to feel comfortable to report crimes if they are victimized.
The sheriff's department is conducting an internal investigation in the deputy. The sheriff also added that Nunez has "familial ties" to the woman and her daughter.More news: One Dunkin Donuts asks customers to report workers yelling in foreign language