A Texas sheriff's deputy has been accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening to deport her undocumented mother if she reported it.
"The details of the case are, quite frankly, heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time", he said at a press conference on Sunday.
Salazar says the victim, who is 4, cried out to her mother Saturday night. Authorities believe the assaults have been taking place for several months or potentially for as long as two years, Salazar said. "We are not ruling out the fact that it could have been going back several years".
The sheriff's office believes "there may have been other children that were related to this suspect and may have had contact with him". I don't know that he was purposely targeting the undocumented community. "And that's what's going to happen in this case", he said.
Salazar also urged people who may be witness to a crime to come forward, even if they are an undocumented immigrant.
The department is petitioning to give the mother protected status pending the outcome of the case. 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.
While the law's supporters say it is created to protect people by enforcing laws already in place, it also allows local authorities to investigate whether a person is legally in the United States. Jose Nunez, 47, is a detention deputy who's been with the department ten years.
Salazar encourages undocumented immigrants to continue to report crimes.
In a nationwide survey conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union and National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project, 70 percent of prosecutors said that sexual assault is now underreported and harder to investigate than before Trump took office.
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 frightful situation.