Migrant children in detention centers have been speaking up about their experiences as they get reunited with their families. There have been stories of abuse and forced labor have caught national attention. One detention center in Mesa, Arizona has become the latest focus as stories of sexual assault are coming to light. First, 32-year-old Fernando Magaz Negrete, an employee at the detention center, was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Now, Levian Pacheco, a 25-year-old employee at the same facility who is HIV-positive, has been accused of molesting eight teenage boys.
Levian Pacheco, a Southwest Key employee in Mesa, Arizona has been charged with molesting eight children inside a detention center.
According to ProPublica, 25-year-old Pacheco was arraigned for molesting eight children under several charges, but also doing so while being HIV-positive. Pacheco’s crimes took place August 2016 and July 2017 at a Southwest Key facility in Mesa, Arizona. Southwest Key receives funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Pacheco has been charged with 11 sex offenses, and the accusations include forced oral sex.
— EP Business Journal (@epbusiness) August 3, 2018
Court documents show that Pacheco is being accused of performing oral sex “on two of the teenagers and tried to force one of them to penetrate him anally.” The other six teenagers that range between 15 and 17 allege that Pacheco “groped them through their clothing,” ProPublica reports.
Court documents also show that Pacheco was working with children for four months even though Southwest Key had not done a background check on him.
You've omitted the paragraph from your earlier statement on abuse (and yes, rethink your life when your job is to release multiple statements a week on allegations of child neglect and abuse) on the extensive background checks your employees go through. Maybe because of this: pic.twitter.com/gBTfUuUf6q
— Erin (@erinl) August 3, 2018
“These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement at US Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families treats our responsibility for each child with the utmost care,” HHS spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said to ProPublica. “Any allegation of abuse or neglect is taken seriously.”
This is just the latest report of molestations occurring inside Southwest Key centers. There have been several more.
A 6 year old girl was sexually abused at this Southwest Key detention site in Glendale, AZ, where ICE put kids separated from their families under Trump's zero-tolerance policy. They made *the child* sign a form promising no contact with her abuser. https://t.co/53zs6GLcl0 pic.twitter.com/cacPJpsqdo
— Xeni Jardin 👩🏼💻 (@xeni) July 28, 2018
These two cases are not the only ones. Several cases of molestation at detention centers have also been reported.
Recently a 6-year-old child that was separated from her mother was forced to sign a form which reported that she had been molested by another child inside a Southwest Key detention center.