By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

Authorities on Monday arrested a 19-year-old fugitive in Harker Heights who was wanted for allegedly sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl.

The Bell County Organized Crime Unit and U.S. Marshals arrested Manuel Lopez at a residence in the 1500 block of Aztec Trace.

He was taken into custody without incident and is being held at the Bell County Jail on $100,000 bond, said Jeff Waggoner, a Harker Heights detective.

Lopez had been missing for about a week when a warrant was issued for his arrest. He has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

According to an arrest affidavit, the mother of the alleged victim notified police in May that her daughter had made statements indicating that Lopez had sexually abused her numerous times.

In an interview with investigators at the Central Texas Children's Advocacy Center, the girl said Lopez assaulted her three times since summer 2010, the affidavit states.

In one incident, Lopez had been drinking before he entered the girl's bedroom. He got into her bed and sexually abused the child, according to statements from the alleged victim.

Lopez later admitted to touching the girl inappropriately; however, he claimed he was drunk and thought he was in bed with the child's mother.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.