A Teller County deputy was arrested and fired last week for unlawful sexual conduct with a woman at the jail in Divide.
According to authorities, Carlos Alberto Minguela, 33, was accused of felony sexual conduct in a correctional institution and misdemeanor first-degree misconduct after the incident was reported on Dec. 22.
He was initially transported to the El Paso County Jail without bail. The case has been turned over to the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which encompassed both Teller and El Paso counties.
Following his arrest, Minguela, who worked for the agency for two years, was immediately fired. Officials are declining comment regarding the incident.
Due to an ongoing investigation, Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensminger, stated that he couldn’t release any specific details.
As he noted in a recent press release, “It saddens me to have one of our deputies arrested; but when an an employee engages in criminal actions, they violate public trust and must be held accountable for their behavior,” said Ensminger.
Questions, though, have been raised regarding the reports, such as whether the alleged incident was consensual and whether the woman was an inmate and when it actually occurred. Authorities have remained silent about these details.
The incident marked the first arrest of a deputy in recent years. According to reports, Minguela began working for the sheriff’s department in 2014 and was assigned to the jail. He reportedly had no prior record of misconduct.
The operations of the jail emerged as a campaign issue during the sheriff’s race of 2014, when Ensminger handily beat challenger Mark Manriquez. Some critics have called for certain changes from running the jail as an enterprise fund, saying it could open the door for a slew of lawsuits. For years, the facility became a financial albatross for the county government.
However, the current jail operations are heavily supported by the county leaders, including the Teller commissioners.