Police in Alpine, Texas, have charged a National Guardsman stationed near the Mexico border with sexual assault after they say he drunkenly tried to rape a woman in a hotel.
Luis Ontiveros, 30, was arrested early Monday morning at the America’s Best Value Inn on U.S. 90 in Alpine, police said in a news release, which is about 50 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. He is stationed there in anticipation of the arrival of migrant caravans from Central America.
“Luis Ontiveros was arrested for sexual assault of a female,” the press release stated. “Ontiveros is in the National Guard stationed in the area.”
The woman he is accused of assaulting, who has not been identified by authorities, is also a member of the National Guard, stationed in the same area as Ontiveros, the Daily Beast reported.
Ontiveros walked his co-worker back to her hotel room after a night of drinking in another National Guardsman’s room, where the woman had already thrown up from drinking too much, early Monday morning, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by KOSA. When she lay down in her bed and closed her eyes, the affidavit says, Ontiveros told her “if she did not wake up that he was going to kiss her.”
He took her clothes off before she was able to get out of the hotel room, police say, according to KOSA, and knocked on the hotel room door next to hers, telling the man who answered that Ontiveros had tried to rape her.
The woman told police Ontiveros was “severely intoxicated,” at the time of the assault as well,” according to the affidavit.
Laura L. Lopez, press secretary for the Texas Military Department, said in a statement to the Daily Beast:
“We are taking these allegations very seriously and will be opening up an inquiry into what happened Monday night in Alpine, Texas.”
Alpine Police Lt. Felipe Fierro told McClatchy that Ontiveros’ arrest was the first interaction local police have had with the more than 2,100 National Guardsmen and Guardswomen since they were sent by the Trump administration in response to several “migrant caravans” heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ontiveros remained in the Brewster County Jail Wednesday.
Border crossings were also being “hardened” with entry closures in Southern California and in Del Rio, Texas, The Associated Press reported.
Trump has previously compared the caravans to “an invasion.”