Sexual harassment inside of detainment centers is a serious issue that’s being highlighted in a new case that involves eight children and 11 sex offenses involving an HIV-positive detainment center worker in Mesa, Arizona.
Levian D. Pacheco, an employee for Southwest Key, is charged with molesting at least eight unaccompanied immigrant boys from August 2016 through July 2017, according to ProRepublica.
Southwest Key’s Casa Kokopelli shelter is just one of eight facilities the company runs in Arizona.
Making matters worse, the Arizona Department of Health Services cited the company in 2017 for failing to complete background checks to ensure its employees had not committed sex offenses and other crimes.
Pacheco now faces “eight counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual acts with a ward,” the publication notes.
While Pacheco’s employment spanned both President Obama and President Trump’s time in office, it’s the current administration’s claims that shelters are, essentially, “summer camps” for children that have led to anger among the public and further investigations into sexual and physical abuses against children.
ProPublica says they only discovered the case while looking for “information about a vague reference to a molestation case in Arizona inspection records.” The publication notes that two other abuse cases involving Southwest Key shelters have also recently surfaced.
In the meantime, Casa Kokopelli is not currently allowed to accept new unaccompanied minors and all minors at the facility have been sent to other facilities, according to HHS.
As previously highlighted by Hill Reporter Steph Bazzle, the abuse of children inside of Trump’s detainment centers has spanned the gamut of sexual, physical, and psychological attacks.
Making matters shockingly worse, one child recent died after being held inside of a Trump detainment center. The child reportedly contracted an illness from another child, was released from ICE custody, and died shortly afterward.
You can read the full report regarding the Arizona case with some shocking details at ProPublica.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.