An illegal immigrant from Honduras who was busted for statutory rape after introducing Dallas police to his 15-year-old wife is now wanted for deportation proceedings, immigration officials said Tuesday.
Jose Nahun Lopez-Cruz, 24, was arrested earlier this month after police officers spotted him and a female companion getting into a Toyota Camry parked in a handicap spot. When officers went to ask why the couple had parked in the spot when they weren’t disabled, they discovered an open can of alcohol and a bag of marijuana in the center console.
Police say Lopez-Cruz tried to explain himself first by saying the can belonged to the girl and then, inexplicably, telling the officers that she was his bride.
“It’s OK, she is gonna be 16 soon,” police records quote Lopez-Cruz as saying, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Police brought in a translator to assist with further questioning, during which the girl told officers she and Lopez-Cruz had been living together for two months and having sex on a daily basis. The age of consent in Texas being 17, Lopez-Cruz was charged with a sexual assault of a child and booked into the Dallas County jail on a $25,000 bond.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immediately lodged a civil immigration detention request, or detainer, with the country jail upon learning of Lopez-Cruz’s arrest. (RELATED: ICE: San Diego Chainsaw Attacker Is Illegal Alien Who Has Been Deported 11 Times)
“On July 8, ICE filed a detainer with the Dallas County Jail on Jose Nahun Lopez, a self-admitted citizen of Honduras illegally present in the United States,” an agency spokeswoman said in a statement. “He came to ICE’s attention after being charged locally with sexual assault of a child.”
Under Texas’ state anti-sanctuary city law, SB4, local law enforcement agencies must comply with detainer requests. A federal district judge in Texas blocked the law in an August 2017 injunction, but subsequent appeals court rulings allowed most of the statute, including the detainer provisions, to go into effect.
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