Progreso officer arrested for alleged sex assault

By DINA ARÉVALO, Staff Writer

McALLEN — New details have been released regarding the arrest of a Progreso police officer Tuesday.

Matthew Sepulveda, 24, faces one charge of sexual assault and one charge of violating the civil rights of a person in custody. The latter charge lists the enhancement of “sexual,” jail records show.

The arrest came after a 20-year-old man made a complaint late last month alleging Sepulveda sexually assaulted him while in custody. The Monitor does not identify victims of sexual assault.

According to a copy of the warrant issued for Sepulveda’s arrest, Sepulveda took the man into custody after making a traffic stop at approximately 10:30 p.m. on June 28.

Sepulveda told the man he was under arrest for not having a driver’s license or proof of insurance, then transported him to the Progreso Police Department.

While in the jail cell, Sepulveda allegedly told the man “that he could not let him go just like that and that he had to do something,” the affidavit read.

Fearing deportation, the man offered to perform community service. Sepulveda then allegedly led the man out of the cell and toward another room, telling the man to say he was having an anxiety attack if anyone asked.

The man claims Sepulveda asked him about his sex life before directing him to turn off the lights in the room, sit in a chair and lower his shorts.

According to the affidavit, Sepulveda then allegedly performed oral sex on the man.

Afterward, the man was escorted to the police department lobby where his parents were waiting for him to be released.

When his mother asked if her son had received a fine or citation, an officer she later identified as Sepulveda told her that “everything was taken care of,” the affidavit read.

Once the family returned to their home, the man told his mother what had happened.

The family reported the incident to the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, which dispatched investigat ors just a few hours after the alleged sexual assault occured, shortly before 5:30 a.m. on June 29.

Two days later — on July 1 — sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at the police department, where they recovered surveillance video. The footage appears to show Sepulveda arriving at the jail with the man in custody and placing him in a cell, the affidavit read.