Sheriff: Texas Deputy Sexually Abused 4-Year-Old Undocumented Immigrant

A Texas sheriff's deputy has been arrested for abusing a four-year-old girl and threatening her undocumented immigrant mother with deportation.

The girl "made an outcry" overnight Sunday, the sheriff said, and her mother took the child to a fire department to report the abuse.

Salazar said that Nunez had family ties to the woman and her daughter, but that their relationship is unclear. Nunez has worked for the Bexar County sheriff's office for over a decade.

It was "another heartbreaking aspect to this case", he said.

Police believe Nunez may have abused the girl over several months, possibly up to two years. "Certainly I think what appealed to him, in this case anyway, is the vulnerability of that community because of the fact that they're less apt to report things". "If you break the law, you are going to jail", Salazar said. He declined to comment on the girl's residency status.

"(We ask) victims of a crime or a witness to a crime to please come forward and report it.

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Authorities are filling out paperwork to ensure the mother is given a protected status pending the outcome of the case, Salazar said. And to ensure that the mother can not 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.

Immigrant rights groups say Texas' Senate Bill 4, which was passed past year, has created an atmosphere of anxiety and apprehension among the undocumented who don't want to go to local law enforcement for crimes due to their citizenship status.

Nunez has been placed on administrative leave while the sheriff's office conducts an internal investigation.

The arrest of the undocumented has come under scrutiny after a growing number of parents and their children are being separated at the border as part of the Trump administration's illegal immigration enforcement strategy.

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.

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