Former Progreso cop found guilty of sexually assaulting male inmates
A federal jury convicted a former Progreso police officer of sexually assaulting two men in his custody.
Matthew Lee Sepulveda, 25, was found guilty on two counts of violations of civil rights following a two-day trial, according to a Wednesday news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The federal jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning guilty verdicts against Sepulveda, the release stated.
Sepulveda, who served the Progreso Police Department from April to July 2019, was accused of performing oral sex on the victims while they were in his custody.
The jury heard from the two victims. The first explained that after he was arrested, Sepulveda took him from the jail cell and escorted him to another office at the police department.
“Sepulveda then began asking him questions of a sexual nature and performed oral sex on him,” the news release stated. “The victim testified because Sepulveda was a police officer, he was scared and did not think he could leave.”
The second victim, who was only 17 at the time, was taken to the police department because he was unable to contact his parents following a traffic stop in which he was a passenger, the release stated. He described how Sepulveda took him to an office located within the police department where he began asking the victim questions of a sexual nature and also performed oral sex on the victim.
Sepulveda’s DNA was found on the underwear of the first victim, according to the release.
The jury found Sepulveda guilty of two civil rights violations. They also found that on the second count, his conduct resulted in bodily injury and included attempted aggravated sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse and kidnapping.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane set Sepulveda's sentencing for May 20. Sepulveda faces up to life in federal prison.
Sepulveda remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing.