Fernando Magaz Negrete, 32, was an employee at a Southwest Key facility in Phoenix. This detention center is one of the many where migrant children are being kept, still separate from their parents and families. Negrete was arrested Tuesday, July 31 as the identified suspect for sexual abuse that took place inside the migrant holding facility. Court records show that the man is facing charges of child molestation, sexual abuse, and aggravated assault, cites AZ Central.
Besides a witness of the event coming forward, it is reported that surveillance video of Negrete approaching the girls’ room multiple times between 9 p.m. and about 10:30 p.m. on June 2. The camera’s view of the doorway and inside the bedroom is unfortunately obscured, as is explained in the reports of the molestation.
The 14-year-old resident’s name has not been given, but her accounts have been reported on by AZ Family and numerous other outlets since the revelation leading up to Negrete’s arrest. He was approached by authorities on July 31, where Negrete apparently admitted to the crime. Negrete told Phoenix PD that he did, in fact, kiss the young girl and also touched her inappropriately on her breasts and crotch over her clothes in the bedroom she shared with two other minors at the facility. Worded in the police report states that the man went to the victim’s room multiple times in one night.
“…in the surveillance video inside the residence, Fernando [Negrete] can be seen approaching the victim’s bedroom several times throughout the night.”
Fernando Magaz Negrete, who is due back in court in six days on August 7 was booked on one count each of molestation, aggravated assault, and sexual abuse. The 14-year-old female victim told police that Negrete entered her room and began kissing her on the lips. According to police records of the victim’s recollection, the girl “pushed him away and got away [from Negrete.]” Another girl, aged 16-years-old, came forward on behalf of the victim as a witness. She explained to the police how she “observed Negrete kissing and inappropriately touching” the other child.
This particular facility is a Texas-based non-profit detention center where more than 1,500 migrant children from Arizona, California, and Texas are being kept. The facility operates under a $458 million contract with the federal Unaccompanied Alien Children Program, explains AZ Central.
A spokesperson for Southwest Key, Jeff Eller, has spoken to the press, stating that Negrete has since been terminated from his position at the facility. Negrete was a sergeant at this detainment center. Eller did not provide any further details.