A former high-ranking Yuma Sector agent, whose wife heads the El Paso sector of the agency, has been arrested in Tucson for allegedly sexually assaulting a female fellow agent.

According to the New York Times, 51-year-old Gustavo Zamora was indicted in July in Tucson on three counts of felony sexual assault and one felony count of kidnapping.

The U.S. Border Patrol also allowed Zamora to retire after his arrest and indictment, with full benefits., according to the New York Times, and that decision is now under review.

At the time of this summer’s incident, Zamora was the assistant chief of the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector. His wife, Gloria Chavez, was recently named as the Border Patrol’s interim chief of the El Paso region.

The victim alleges that Zamora — whom she considered a mentor — got her drunk on rounds of tequila shots, took her to his Tucson hotel room and attacked her. 

The female agent, who is identified only as “R. W.” in court documents, reported the incident May 25, two days after the alleged assault. Six weeks later, a Pima County grand jury indicted him. His trial has been scheduled to begin April 28, 2020.

Zamora, however, says he did not force himself on his fellow agent, claiming they were both drunk when they had sex and that she initiated it.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not commented on the case except to defend its handling of the situation. In a statement it writes it “holds its employees accountable and expects the entire work force to adhere to the agency’s standard of conduct.”

The statement indicates that the matter was first brought to the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility’s attention in June 2019, when Zamora reported being contacted by the Tucson Police Department regarding an alleged sexual assault.

“As a result, OPR immediately initiated an investigation and notified the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. CBP OPR is cooperating with the Tucson Police Department, which is conducting a criminal investigation,” a CBP official said..

The OPR, at the conclusion of the criminal investigation, will review all the facts uncovered to all allegations of misconduct by any CBP employee involved are thoroughly investigated for appropriate action by the agency.

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.

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