Levian Pacheco, a former worker at a migrant detention center that housed children separated from their families, has been sentenced to 19 years for sexually abusing boys in the facility, CNN is reporting. Pacheco is HIV-positive.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Pacheco was arrested and charged in August 2018 with 11 counts of sexual abuse. Pacheco had worked at the Southwest Key’s Casa Kokopelli facility in Mesa, Arizona, since 2016, and was accused of carrying out the acts of abuse between 2016 and 2017. This took place before the Trump administration’s policy of mandating that parents and children who illegally cross the border together be separated.
Nevertheless, prosecutors say that Pacheco preyed on boys between the ages of 15 and 17, who were held at the facility and scheduled for deportation. Pacheco’s job was to supervise the young boys.
Instead, prosecutors alleged that Pacheco touched the boys’ genitalia over their clothes; that he performed oral sex on two boys; and that he attempted to have anal sex with one of them.
This week, U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan sentenced to former worker to 19 years in prison. Once more, upon release, he’ll be subject to lifetime supervision. Logan said that he gave Pacheco a longer sentence in part because he exposed the boys to the HIV virus. It remains unclear, as of this writing, if any of the victims contracted the virus from Pacheco.
In a statement, Southwest Key reiterated that they did everything they could when they learned of Pacheco’s alleged abuse.
“We are grieved that abuse occurred in one of our shelters and, with the victims, take comfort in justice having been served. As an organization, we believe in transparency. Testimony at trial clearly showed that when we learned of possible abuse, we acted immediately by calling law enforcement and suspending the individual involved.”
However, it turns out that more could have possibly been done. As noted in the Inquisitr’s August report about Pacheco’s arrest, it was noted that Southwest Key had been facing accusations from the Arizona Department of Public Health that it failed to properly conduct background checks on its employees.
What’s more, accusations of abuse surfaced at other Southwest Key facilities as well. For example, at a Southwest Key detention center in Phoenix, Fernando Magaz Negrete was arrested for allegedly kissing a 16-year-old migrant girl and fondling her breasts and crotch. And at a Southwest Key facility in Glendale, a six-year-old migrant boy allegedly fondled a migrant girl.