A 15-year-old girl was smuggled into the country and then reportedly sold for sex.
Comal County Sheriff's Deputies believe a relative was behind this. We're told the exchange was made for money. As a result, the girl's relative and the 34-year-old man involved are both facing first-degree felony charges. They have not yet been indicted but remain in the Comal County Jail.
It's a case that the Comal County Sheriff's Office hasn't seen before, child sex trafficking by a relative.
Authorities tell us in June of 2014 Gloria Romero-Perez paid thousands of dollars for two relatives to be smuggled in from Honduras, one of them only 15 years old. After a few months, the teen reportedly met 34-year-old Julio Jimenez-Ramirez and began having sex.
"The aunt wanted to recoup the money she had spent to have the girl and her grandmother smuggled over into the United States. When this girl got into the relationship with this guy, she tells this guy 'you're going to pay me this money or I'm going to report you to the police and immigration,'" says Detective Anthony Moreno, Comal County Sheriff's Office.
When the agreement was broken, we're told Romero-Perez reported her 15-year-old relative as a runaway back in April. When authorities found the young girl, she didn't want to leave. She had just had a baby fathered by the 34-year-old man.
"She told them, 'I'm not a runaway. My aunt sold me to him.' In that time she produced some receipts with his name on it and her aunt's name on it. I believe it was for $700 and $900. There was also a written contract that said the gentleman was supposed to pay the aunt $700 to $800 a month," says Moreno.
The money was to equal around $6,000, which is what it took Romero-Perez to smuggle her relative into the country. A lot of work has been put into this case. Phone records were downloaded, so were Facebook messages and even money transfers. Information like this is what authorities needed to make an arrest.
34-year-old Jimenez-Ramirez is charged with sexual assault of a child and harboring a runaway child. Another charge was recently added, trafficking a child for sexual conduct. The child's relative, Romero-Perez, is charged with trafficking a child for benefit. Comal County deputies say they were both undocumented immigrants.
"In their eyes they may not see anything wrong with it but obviously here in Texas and in the United States, there are laws against having sexual relations with a 15-year-old child," says Moreno.
The teen is currently in CPS custody, so is her baby. Both adults are being held on a $500,000 bond. We're told it's up to state and federal authorities on whether more charges will be filed.