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Woman accused ex-school police officer with Pharr sex crime

A man who was responsible for the protection of school children and enforcement of immigration laws has been charged with a serious sex crime. The ex-Border Patrol agent and South Texas school security officer has been accused of the long-term sexual assault of a minor.

The sexual abuse allegedly took place starting a decade-and-a-half ago, when the defendant was 19 and the victim was 11. The now-adult woman told police the assaults took place at various locations in the Pharr area between 1998 and 2004 until the girl was 16.

The suspect was released on bond one day after he was charged with continuous sexual assault of a minor.

McAllen Independent School District hired the 33-year-old defendant five years ago as a security guard after conducting a routine background check. The employee was promoted to police officer in 2010. Job duties were not exclusive to one school.

McAllen administrators said the officer was terminated last December as soon as school officials learned of the sexual assault investigation. Published reports made no connection between present or former students in the district and the sexual abuse allegations.

The suspect also worked with the Border Patrol in Rio Grande City. The duties he performed and exact dates of his employment were not released by the agency. A spokesperson stated that the agent quit the job awhile ago.

Delays in reporting sex crimes are not unusual. Victims, especially children, may not discuss a sexual assault immediately with parents or authorities. Some children are threatened by attackers or feel they are somehow partly to blame for the crime.

Coverage of sex crime investigations usually centers upon the criminal charges, trials and penalties for conviction. Sex crime suspects may also face separate civil trials, where defendants can be held liable for the harm they inflicted upon victims. Juries may grant financial awards to plaintiffs who are sexually abused.

Source: sfgate.com, "Man charged with sexual assault was border agent," Christopher Sherman, Jan. 7, 2013

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