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July 1, 2011

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Former Border Patrol Agent Convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault Sentenced

McALLEN, Texas - Scott Anthony Sullivan, a former Border Patrol agent previously convicted of violating the civil rights of a young female by sexually assaulting her, has been sentenced to 184 months imprisonment, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, who presided over Sullivan’s trial in 2007, handed down the sentence this afternoon. Sullivan, 45, previously of Premont, Texas, was charged by indictment in September 2005 with violating the civil rights by sexually assaulting a young woman who had been detained at the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint. Sullivan was convicted on April 13, 2007, by a jury’s verdict following a trial. The jury’s verdict included special findings that Sullivan caused the young woman bodily injury and committed an aggravated sexual abuse of the young woman. Following the guilty verdicts, the court granted the government’s motion to revoke Sullivan’s bond and remanded him into federal custody.

The victim in this case is a U.S. citizen born in Ft. Worth, Texas. As an infant, she was taken by her family to Mexico and raised there. At the age of 23, she and her mother agreed to allow her to live in the United States with family members so that she could study and make a better life for herself. During the five-day trial, the jury heard the testimony of agents, the victim’s mother, her aunt and the victim which proved that on March 21, 2003, the then 23-year-old woman had been detained at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Inspection Station by Sullivan, a Border Patrol agent assigned to the inspection station. He took custody of the young woman for the purported purpose of transporting her to a bus station to board a bus bound for Dallas, Texas. Instead, he took her to a nearby motel in Falfurrias, Texas, and sexually assaulted her three times over the course of the evening of March 21, 2003, and the early morning hours of March 22, 2003. Sullivan eventually drove the young woman to the bus station where she ultimately boarded a bus for Dallas. After the young woman, traumatized as a result of the repeated sexual assaults, finally reached her destination, the Mexican Consulate was contacted and notified of the repeated assaults. The Mexican Consulate notified U.S. law enforcement officials and an investigation was initiated.

Federal law prohibits a law enforcement officer, while acting under color of law, from willfully depriving a person of any right protected and secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States including the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, which includes the right to bodily integrity. The charges against Sullivan are the result of an investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG), which has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by federal employees of the Department of Homeland Security. 

This case was tried by Assistant United States Attorneys Ruben R. Perez and Jimmy Leo.