Rockville, Maryland resident Nestor Lopez-Guzman, 21, is accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl and her younger brother.
According to Montgomery County Police documents obtained by ABC 7 late last month, Lopez-Guzman admitted to touching the boy in an interview with detectives.
MORE: According to detectives, Lopez-Guzman confessed to touching the elementary school-age boy's genitals, claiming it was a "cultural joke" that's "common in El Salvador."
Lopez-Guzman said it's a way for men to poke fun at one another.
The 21yo is out on bond awaiting trial. pic.twitter.com/Xvg4l0dkCK
— Kevin Lewis (@ABC7Kevin) August 29, 2019
But in that same interview the El Salvador native, who is an undocumented immigrant living in the country illegally, denied that he’d molested the alleged victim.
“He stated the touching was a joke that was common in El Salvador,” according to court documents. “He stated he would say, ‘Where are my little balls?’ while waving his hand on [the victim’s] penis.”
“He stated he never played these jokes on [the female victim]; the cultural joke is for males to make fun of males,” detectives said in the documents.
Lopez-Guzman is also accused of fondling the boy’s older sister and bribing her for sexual favors. According to police documents, Child Welfare Services alerted authorities in May after a middle school counselor reported that the alleged victim’s friend said she was being abused. In an interview with child welfare workers, the girl said Lopez-Guzman had attempted to touch her buttocks, breasts and vagina on several occasions since November 2018.
ABC 7 reported that a Montgomery County District Court judge last month issued a $15,000 unsecured personal bond for Lopez-Guzman. The bond would have allowed Lopez-Guzman to be released without paying any money.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement responded by filing a detainer and taking Lopez-Guzman into custody. He has since posted bond in federal immigration court and is living at an undisclosed location, ABC 7 reported.
The Nelson Lopez-Guzman case highlights a heated debate on immigration in the county
Lopez-Guzman’s case is only the latest in a string of sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by undocumented immigrants in Montgomery County in the past six weeks.
Including Lopez-Guzman, police have arrested at least seven undocumented immigrants on sex crime-related charges.
Montgomery County officials responded Thursday to reports from conservative media outlets and Trump administration figures drawing attention to the crimes.
“There has been a lot of inaccurate information spread by the White House, President Trump, Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli, local and national conservative news outlets and neo-Nazi sympathizers regarding our criminal justice system and its process,” the county council said in a statement.
“These individuals and organizations should be ashamed for spreading false information seeking to establish a baseless, illogical and xenophobic connection between a person’s failure to obtain legal status and their propensity to commit a sex crime,” the statement from the city council read.