Top U.S. border official arrested on child rape charges
By Tara Nelson
A top official for the U.S. Border Patrol’s Blaine sector was arrested last week on child rape charges.
Joseph W. Giuliano, 55, deputy chief of the Border Patrol’s Blaine office of field operations, was arrested last Thursday after he admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl who had been living with him in his Sudden Valley home.
Whatcom County prosecutors charged him with three counts of child rape, a Class C Felony. The charge carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
In a written statement, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said more charges could be filed and the department will advocate that Giuliano is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“It is shameful that a person holding a position of trust in our community would engage in such reprehensible conduct and exploit a 14-year-old child.”
A Whatcom County Sheriff’s Officer learned about the case from an anonymous call from Bellingham high school, according to documents filed with Whatcom County Superior Court.
The girl told her friends she had been sexually active with Giuliano, who was acting as her foster parent. She had been residing in his home with Giuliano and his wife since early 2008 after her parents separated.
The two began having sex during a family trip to Arizona, which continued after they returned home, often communicating meeting times via cell phone.
He told prosecutors he had sex with the girl on at least 24 occasions.
At times, Giuliano told the girl he was afraid of getting caught and that he knew it was wrong, according to court documents.
On Tuesday, CBP spokesperson Mike Milne said Giuliano was on paid administrative leave. Giuliano was later put on indefinite suspension after he was arrested. He later posted bail of $50,000, said Whatcom County prosecuting attorney Mac Setter. He is awaiting an arraignment Friday and is expected to plea not guilty.
“From our perspective, we try to foster a culture of integrity and professionalism in our agents and we take breaches of integrity and professionalism very seriously,” Milne said. “Any officer or agent that chooses to disregard that oath and breach the public’s trust that is placed in them by the citizens they are supposed to protect will be held accountable.”
Giuliano began his career with the then-U.S. Border Patrol in 1985 at the agency’s San Diego sector. From there he moved to work at the Immigration Naturalization Service (INS) regional office in Seattle, and then to the Lynden office of CPB’s Blaine sector.
Giuliano will be replaced by interim deputy chief patrol agent Henry Rolon.
Rolon has more than 20 years of experience in combined law enforcement and began his career in 1988 as a U.S. Marine Corps military police officer. While there, he served as a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. He also served on the Disturbance Control Team as a federal correctional officer in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.