Posted: 5:41 p.m. Friday, February 03, 2017
Mark Wilson

A man who was deported after serving time for his role in a 1987 homicide has been arrested in Travis County on charges of raping a woman last month outside his car while her toddler sat in the back seat.

Juan Lopez, 46, was booked into the Travis County Jail just after 7:30 p.m. Thursday on charges of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping, according to jail records.

Jail authorities said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents filed a request a couple of hours after Lopez was arrested to keep him detained so he could eventually be turned over to them, and the Travis County sheriff’s office complied with the request.

This kind of request by federal authorities is at the center of a controversial policy enacted this week by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez. Under the policy, the sheriff’s office would automatically fulfill so-called ICE detainer requests to keep offenders suspected or convicted of aggravated sexual assault, murder or human trafficking. Detention requests for lesser crimes, however, would require a judicial warrant or court order.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a woman whom Lopez had known for more than a year asked if she could borrow his car on Jan. 15. He agreed to meet her and let her use the car the next day around 5 a.m., the woman told police.

When he arrived, the woman strapped her toddler into the back of his car before hopping into the driver’s seat. Lopez got into the passenger seat, and they headed toward Interstate 35.

Lopez told her to get off the highway in South Austin, then pulled out a knife and held it to her side, the affidavit said. He made her drive to a secluded cul-de-sac and told her that he would kill her if she didn’t have sex with him, the woman told police.

The woman refused and reminded him that her son was in the car, but he told her, “I don’t give a damn,” according to the affidavit.

Lopez then walked around the car, pulled the woman out by her hair and raped her, the woman told police.

While police were investigating the incident, the woman told police she called Lopez and he acknowledged to her that he forced her to have sex, the affidavit said.

Investigators tracked Lopez down to the 1800 block of Wooten Drive in North Austin and arrested him without incident.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Lopez had a Mexican federal electoral ID with the name Delfino Torres-Solorio of Guerrero, Mexico.

“Further investigation revealed Lopez was convicted for a Travis County homicide in 1987 under the name Delfino Torres-Ayala and released in 2009 from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Lopez was subsequently deported to the Republic of Mexico,” the Marshals Service said.

Lopez was being held Friday at the Travis County Jail on a combined bail of $150,000, jail records show.