Cold case file resurrected, solved by sheriff’s officers

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug 31, 2007 - Sheriff’s officers Thursday made an arrest in an aggravated sexual assault of a child case, 13 years after it was initially reported.

Jose Luis Maqueda, 39, of Greenville, was arrested just before 11 a.m. Thursday for aggravated sexual assault of a child, which investigators say began in 1989 when the victim was 4 years old and continued through 1994. Maqueda was arrested after he admitted to the charges, investigators said shortly after he was booked into the county jail.

The victim, now 24 years old, got the ball rolling on the case by calling the district attorney’s office this week to ask what the outcome of the case was. 

�She could remember the case was investigated, but not the outcome,� Hopkins County Sheriff�s Investigator Lewis Tatum said.

The district attorney’s office, after searching their files, couldn’t find anything indicating the case was ever presented to that office.

�It had apparently never been sent to them,� Tatum said. �They had no record of it.�

Officials at the district attorney’s office then called the sheriff’s office to see what they had on file.

HCSO Criminal Investigations Division Secretary Tina Lazarus was called upon to assist. After a bit of searching, Lazarus found the file in question among the department’s cold case archives, according to Tatum.

�We�re unable to determine why it was not carried out then,� said Tatum.

When the complaint was intially filed, Jose Maqueda was accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Tatum interviewed the 24-year-old woman this week, who again told sheriff’s officials that Maqueda, who was a family member, committed the offenses. She told the investigator the offenses were repeated for five to six years.

After taking the victim’s statement and again reviewing the file, Tatum contacted the defendant, who currently resides in Greenville. The man agreed to talk with officers, which he did Thursday morning. During the interview, Maqueda admitted to Tatum that the allegations did occur. At that time, Maqueda was arrested and jailed for aggravated sexual assault of a female family member, the investigator said.

Maqueda was arraigned by Precinct 1 Judge Yvonne King Friday morning at the county jail, where he remained Friday morning in lieu of $100,000 bond set.

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