An undocumented immigrant from Mexico was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery of a girl in Mulberry, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Jesus Ramirez-Velasco, 31, was arrested Saturday and booked into the Polk County Jail, according to a news release.
Deputies began their investigation over the weekend when a 16-year-old victim came forward and said that Ramirez-Velasco had threatened to harm her mother if she didn’t have sex with him again.
In mid-December, deputies said Ramirez-Velasco sexually battered the girl, then the two had sexual intercourse at least 19 more times. Ramirez allegedly confirmed this information and told detectives he knew it was a crime. Then he blamed the girl for initiating sexual contact with him, according to deputies. But the victim told investigators the first encounter happened against her will.
“A crime such as this against a child is heinous; to blame the victim for his behavior is appalling,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
He is charged with 20 counts of Sexual Battery of Custodian Victim over 12 (F-1).
Ramirez-Velasco was arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2008 and deported before he returned to the country illegally. Aside from his immigration status, he has no prior criminal history, deputies said.