Probation Officer Jonathan Thomas went to visit one of the offenders he’s responsible for in Greenville, North Carolina.
He says he walked in on the offender’s father, Martin Vasquez, raping a 6-year-old girl.
At first, Thomas couldn’t find the offender he was checking on. "At that point I proceeded to the backyard to look for him and all I saw was one small child playing in the backyard and the door was open to an adjacent barn in our storage building," Thomas told WCTI.
Thomas then says he witnessed Vasquez, 47, raping the girl. "All I could focus on was getting him away from the little girl. Of course, other emotions, as a parent myself, you know, were flowing high. All I wanted to do was get him out of that situation, away from her," he said.
Vasquez was arrested and he is now being held at the Pitt County Detention Center. His bail was set at $1 million.
Children reportedly often play in Vasquez’s yard and the Pitt County Sheriff's Office is investigating if he has assaulted other children.
"This is as bad as it gets, you know, witnessing a child, 6 years old, physically being raped," Sheriff Neil Elks said.
"This investigation showed the efforts this man took to do this. It makes you question yourself, is this his first time, is this his first victim?" he said.
"Anybody that's lived near him or around him, know him; ask yourself that question: Is it something I need to be concerned about? And if you're concerned about that with your child, maybe this guy's been in the company of your child and you think everything's fine; we are trained professionals, let us go talk to your child.”
Vasquez was charged with first degree rape, but the sheriff’s office said more charges will be filed.