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Border Patrol agent charged with sexual assault

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Posted: May 10, 2013 3:28 PM

Updated: May 10, 2013 3:29 PM

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) A South Texas Border Patrol agent remained in jail Friday, two days after being arrested on a sexual assault charge for an alleged incident with a woman he was guarding in a Corpus Christi hospital.

According to the complaint, Philip Westerman, 42, was guarding a woman who had entered the country illegally at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial on April 28 when the alleged assault occurred.

U.S. Marshals arrested Westerman in McAllen on Wednesday on a charge of second-degree sexual assault, said Nueces County First Assistant District Attorney Gail Loeb. He remained in the Hidalgo County Jail Friday on $150,000 bond, said jail spokeswoman Rosa Ybarra. It was not immediately known if Westerman had an attorney.

Westerman, who will have been with the Border Patrol for three years in August, was assigned to the Falfurrias station, agency spokesman Henry Mendiola said. Westerman was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, Mendiola said.

The FBI, Corpus Christi Police and Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General are investigating the alleged assault.

Border Patrol agents are routinely assigned to guard immigrants who have entered the country illegally while they receive medical treatment.

The alleged assault occurred in the patient's hospital room, where she had been recovering from an arm injury since April 18, according to the complaint. Westerman told Corpus Christi police that he had no sexual contact with the woman, but said he had masturbated in her bathroom to explain the presence of his semen.

The woman told police Westerman said he would take her to Mexico if she told anyone. She waited until the following morning to report the incident to the attending nurse, because she feared she wouldn't be believed.

Steven Alford, a spokesman for Christus Spohn Health System said the hospital would not comment because it is an ongoing legal issue.

"CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe," the Border Patrol said in a prepared statement Wednesday. "We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty."

Topics: Agent Assault

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