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DIGGING DEEPER: Border Patrol agent placed on ‘indefinite administration duties’ arrested again

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TUCSON (KVOA) - A Border Patrol agent who was released from jail after being charged in multiple sexual and aggravated assaults two years ago is back behind bars.

Steven Holmes is now being held without bond​ in the Pima County Jail.  He is being kept away from other inmates due to his prior criminal charges.

"In 2019, he was arrested for the sexual assaults and the aggravated domestic violence assaults strangulation charge," Det. Dallas Wilson said.

In 2019, Holmes was indicted on 14 counts by a grand jury. Wilson works in the adult sex crimes unit and is assigned to the Holmes case. In May of 2019, he was arrested at Border Patrol headquarters. Wilson said he took him into custody at the station for safety concerns.

Holmes was placed on a $25,000 bond and was released to pretrial services. He was outfitted with a GPS tracking device.

Fast forward to now.

"Last month, another victim reports to police also being sexually assaulted and strangled by him," Wilson said.

Court documents showed the victim explained to police, "She and Mr. Holmes have known each other between 5 to 6 months and for the past 3 months, the two have been sexually active."

On Aug. 26, they were having sex. She said, "something changed" and described Mr. Holmes' behavior as leaving her gasping for air as he squeezed her neck."  She described, "losing consciousness as Mr. Holmes continued in having sexual intercourse with her after she had asked him to stop."

She managed to leave and noticed she had markings around her neck and eyes and behind her ears. She called the police and participated in a forensic sexual assault exam.

Detectives served a search warrant at his residences a week ago. They seized numerous items to include bedding, phones, Border Patrol uniforms, and accessories and firearm accessories.

Detectives said, there may be more potential victims out there and they are urged to call 911.

"Even if they don't want to participate in the investigation or prosecution, getting them any kind of resources they need to help them heal would be," Wilson said. "That's something we're interested as well."

In 2019, Border Patrol sent out a statement and resent it again last Friday when News 4 Tucson asked the status of Holmes's employment.

The following is attributable to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson:

On May 21, 2019, Border Patrol Agent Steven C. Holmes from the Tucson Station was arrested by the Tucson Police Department for multiple charges of Sexual and Aggravated Assault.

At the time, Holmes had seven years of service with the U.S. Border Patrol. He has been placed on indefinite administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation. The U.S. Border Patrol stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of its mission. We do not tolerate misconduct on, or off duty, and will fully cooperate with all investigations of alleged misconduct by our personnel. Please see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Standards of Conduct Policy.

A trial date for his first set of charges is scheduled for March 22, 2022.

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Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

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