BELLINGHAM, Wash. — One of the top U.S. Border Patrol officials responsible for Alaska has been arrested at his home in Washington on child rape charges.
The Whatcom County sheriff’s office said deputies arrested Joseph W. Giuliano, the deputy chief patrol agent at the agency’s Blaine sector, on Thursday at his home. Blaine sector covers Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.
The 55-year-old man had been charged Wednesday in Whatcom County Superior Court with raping a 14-year-old girl who was staying in his home. Prosecutors charged him with three counts of third-degree child rape.
Giuliano made an initial court appearance Thursday afternoon; bail was set at $50,000.
He was ordered to surrender his passport, have no contact with witnesses or the alleged victim and remain in Whatcom County unless he had court permission to leave. It was not immediately known if he was represented by a lawyer.
As deputy chief, Giuliano had been the public face of the agency as it expands its operations on the state’s border with Canada. The Border Patrol has been criticized for operating sporadic checkpoints on several Washington state roads and ferry runs since the start of the year.
Giuliano often met with city and county councils and gave interviews to the media.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership has placed great emphasis on integrity and does not tolerate actions that would tarnish or diminish the reputation of our agency,” Blaine Chief Patrol Agent John Bates said in a statement.
The agency will cooperate fully with any investigation, said Agent Michael Bermudez, spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Blaine sector.
Charging documents alleged Giuliano admitted to investigators having sex with the girl at least 24 times, beginning on a family trip to Arizona. At times, he told the girl it was wrong and feared he would get caught, the court documents said.
The girl moved into Giuliano’s home after her parents separated in late February or early March. She was not part of the state’s foster care system.
The sheriff’s office learned of the alleged abuse this week when the girl told Bellingham High School classmates, who called authorities. The alleged abuse had been going on since spring, the newspaper reported.
Giuliano is on “indefinite suspension” from the agency, Bermudez said.
Uh, yeah! Predators controlling our borders! Need to throw his sorry ass under the jail with Ramos or Compean. They deserve one another’s company