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Border Patrol deputy chief has bail set at $50,000 PDF
Friday, 17 October 2008

As the second in command at the Blaine sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, Joseph W. Giuliano "was the face of the Border Patrol in the Northwest," spokesman Michael Bermudez said.

Giuliano, the sector's deputy chief patrol agent, commanded approximately 250 agents who protected the U.S. border in Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. He had an annual salary of more than $130,000 and a government-issued Chevrolet Tahoe to drive to and from work.

That was until Thursday Oct. 16, when Giuliano, 55, was arrested at his Sudden Valley home on suspicion of child rape and placed on indefinite suspension.

Instead of a crisp Border Patrol uniform, he wore the wrinkled scrubs, socks and sandals of an inmate as guards escorted him through Whatcom County Jail and into a courtroom Thursday afternoon. His bail was set at $50,000, and he must post the full amount in order to be released.

Giuliano remained in jail Thursday evening. He was charged Wednesday with three counts of third-degree child rape. He has admitted to having sex at least 24 times since April with a 14-year-old girl staying in his Sudden Valley home, according to the charging documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Giuliano has not hired an attorney and is scheduled to enter a plea Oct. 24. If convicted, he faces as many as 15 years in prison, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Mac Setter said.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said Giuliano is still under investigation and more charges are possible.

"We hope he's prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Elfo said.

According to charging documents:

The girl moved into Giuliano's home in late February or early March after her parents separated.

Giuliano took on the role of a foster parent for her, although he is not a licensed foster care parent and she is not in the state foster care system.

The two began having sex while on a family vacation to Arizona and continued to do so after returning home.

Giuliano's wife, Patty, did not know about the abuse, Setter said.

The Sheriff's Office learned of the abuse Monday when they received an anonymous phone call from staff at Bellingham High School, where the girl was a student.

Giuliano confessed to the sexual relationship when interviewed Tuesday by investigators.

Sheriff Bill Elfo said he would not disclose where the girl is staying currently.

If he posts bail, Giuliano must surrender his passport and not contact the 14-year-old.

Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, complied with the investigation and put Giuliano on paid administrative leave Tuesday, spokesman Mike Milne said. Giuliano was suspended after being arrested Thursday.

On indefinite suspension, Giuliano will not receive a salary, and any government property issued to him - such as the Tahoe and a cell phone - will be taken away, as his firearm already has been, Milne said.

A member of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector is flying to Whatcom County to take over as acting deputy chief of the Blaine sector, Bermudez said.

"We're going to continue doing our duties in light of what has happened," Bermudez said.

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