MCALLEN, Texas - A south Texas stepfather police say was murdered by teen brothers for allegedly abusing their half-sister had a warrant issued for another sexual abuse case against him.
Pharr Police Chief Andy Harvey Jr. said Gabriel Quintanilla, the 42-year-old man whose body was found in a McAllen field Jan. 20, had been accused of continuous sexual assault in 2019. The case is unrelated to the outcry authorities believe caused Alejandro and Christian Trevino, along with friend Juan Eduardo Melendez, to beat Quintanilla.
"I don't think there's anyone in America that can't sympathize with two brothers acting the way they did in response to someone who had violently raped their little sister," attorney and former judge Charles "Big Angry" Adams told FOX 26 Houston.
"So now you have two young children claiming that they were sexually assaulted by this man, right? And if these two brothers and the friend were aware, I think it provides a rationale, a justification, that a lot of people can understand," Adams said.
Harvey provided few details about the unrelated 2019 allegations during a press conference Tuesday, according to MyRGV News. He did say the continuous sexual assault allegedly occurred for several years and investigators had enough to secure a warrant for Quintanilla's arrest at that time, but Quintanilla was able to evade authorities until his body was discovered.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 246,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling for the release of the Trevino brothers and Melendez.
Melendez is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana.
Christian Trevino is charged with aggravated assault, murder and engaging in organized criminal activity. Alejandro Trevino is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and aggravated assault.