Immigrant Worker Arrested For Sexual Assault On Minors

No Matter How You Came To The United States, You DESERVE To Not Live With The Fear Of Sexual Assault

Levian D. Pacheco molested at least eight children between 2016 and 2017 while they were in the care of a migrant children facility.


According to federal court records, a worker for Southwest Key has been charged with 11 sex offenses after authorities accused him of molesting at least eight unaccompanied immigrant boys over nearly a year at one of the company's shelters in Mesa, Arizona.

The charges against Levian D. Pacheco were first reported by ProPublica.

When an adult is referred for prosecution, a child traveling with the adult is turned over to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Migrant children who crossed the border were taken to a facility after entering the United States. While I appreciate the effort made by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to contain all of the children in a safe, enclosed environment, I am terrified that the fear of sexual assault lurks around every corner.

Federal prosecutors laid out the case against Levian D. Pacheco in a court filing, submitted on July 30.

The prosecution alleges that he sexually abused eight minors between the ages of 15 to 17 in the Casa Kokopelli shelter in Mesa, Arizona.

The facility is run by Southwest Key Programs, which has a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This department is supposed to protect migrant children whose parents are being punished for crossing the border. Yet, in this case, this facility has been the host of numerous sexual assaults.

Parents bring their children across the border for a reason: to live a better life. When they are forced to be separated, their parents trust that the U.S, the government will protect their children to the best of their ability. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have parents be forcibly separated from their children, only to find out that they were sexually assaulted.

Casa Kokopelli was cited by the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2017 for failing to complete background checks, including fingerprinting, to ensure that employees had not previously committed sex offenses and other crimes, records show. Yet, Pacheco worked for nearly four months without a complete background check and those records did not show any previous arrests or convictions for sex offenses.

Then how was he able to sexually assault eight children at the facility he worked for?

"These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS' Administration for Children and Families treats our responsibility for each child with the utmost care," said HHS spokesperson Kenneth Wolfe. "Any allegation of abuse or neglect is taken seriously."

The filing alleges the inappropriate contact took place between Aug. 29, 2016, and July 24, 2017. The allegations against Pacheco include that he performed oral sex on two of the teenagers and tried to force one of them to penetrate him anally. Pacheco had groped the other six teens through their clothing. The current charges include eight counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual acts with a ward.

Pacheco disclosed he was HIV positive when he was arrested, according to court records.

The official definition of HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body's immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can't fight off infections and disease. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body. This damage to the immune system makes it harder for the body to fight off infections and some other diseases.
How terrified must the children have been to have found out that a sexual assault affects the rest of their life?
HIV cannot be cured. Therefore, the children who received HIV from Pacheco will have to live with the fact that they are HIV positive for the rest of their lives. Normally, people who are in a sexual relationship will disclose their STD status before any intimacy occurs. But the children who were raped by Pacheco were not given that luxury.
The United Nations human rights office has also called for an end to the Trump administration's practice that separates children and parents, saying that using immigration detention and family separation "as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles."
Trump's zero-tolerance policy is destroying the image of the United States as a "world power" and a "melting pot." I am not a Trump supporter, but I do not hate those who support Trump. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but everyone who is a citizen of the United States deserves an opportunity to make a life for themselves.
No matter how you came to the United States, you DESERVE to not live with the fear of sexual assault.
Pacheco's trial is scheduled to begin on August 28, and I hope that he gets the punishment he deserves for destroying the lives of the eight teens he raped.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

I was never really big on cocktails. Tequila soda is always a go-to drink for me because of its simplicity and, to be honest, lack of extra calories from mixers chock-full of sugar, chemicals, and other unknown ingredients. I like tequila, and like to be able to really savor it.

This all changed when, a couple of years ago, a friend of mine made me a margarita from scratch — no funky mixers involved — and it tasted incredible. It was light, refreshing, and complemented the tequila without overpowering it.

Keep Reading... Show less

I was blessed with thick, full hair up until my late teens. At the time, I cursed my hairiness — this was before full eyebrows became trendy or cool, and were instead a point of bullying many of my fellow full-browed teens can relate to.

Later in my 20s, hormonal stability was something I was thankful for, though a major side effect ended up being hair loss — on my head, lashes, and brows. I now find my filling in my brows on an almost daily basis. As much as I enjoy toying with and testing out different brow-filling products, it'll never be quite the same as being able to have "I woke up like this" full, Gigi Hadid-esque brows.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month, A Reminder We Need Even More In Quarantine

You're going through something brand new — that's worth talking about.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This isn't new to 2020, but oh man, if we ever needed a reminder about the importance of mental health, now is the time. With different states all over the place in regard to stay-at-home orders, phased reopenings, and a "new normal," we're experiencing conflict, fear, changes, and unknowns that can easily trigger mental struggles we already have or spark feelings we've never had before. Yes, May is always Mental Health Awareness Month, but in quarantine, that need for positive mental health is taken to a whole new level.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone is LOVING "Outer Banks," as you've probably heard. And if you haven't caught the hype for the show yet, these articles will definitely give you a taste of what you're missing.

If you already have seen and fallen in love with the teen heartthrob crew, you need to get on board with some of these theories for season two!

Keep Reading... Show less

These 11 Face Masks On Etsy Support Small Businesses While Fighting The Spread Of Coronavirus

We're staying safe as states start lifting lockdown guidelines.

I, like most people who have had the luxury of being able to stay at home during this time, haven't spent much time outdoors at all. But when I do brave the great outdoors for a walk or to get to the grocery store, you won't find me without a mask.

My family and I were lucky enough to have family friends who were sewing some and had extras to give to us, but most of my friends and loved ones outside my immediate family have had to order some (or make a makeshift one out of scarves or bandanas).

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Reasons We're Using Quarantine As The Ultimate Excuse For Online Shopping This Month

The one thing we haven't distanced from is our bank account.

Throughout quarantine, I've been FaceTiming most of my friends in a full turtleneck or the go-to cozy sweater I keep wrapped around the chair in my room. Either way, I always have tea in my hands to keep myself warm — till this past week.

For most of the country who hasn't had the luck of quarantining in 90-degree weather on their family's lake house or with a backyard pool, things began to change this month. Our favorite shows came out with summer seasons, the sun came out, and we started spending more time outside.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments