It’s already bad enough to separate children from their parents and then LOSE those kids. It’s another when you put those children in a situation with a predator in an authority position that’s ALSO infected with HIV.
‘A youth care 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, federal court records show.’
That youth care worker is Levian Pacheco.
How in the hell does this actually happen? Well, when you separate children from their parents and put them in one place with someone who preys upon children, it’s like a shepherd herding their sheep into a wolves’ den.
The alleged abuse began in August of 2016 and continued for almost a year. Furthermore, ProPublica reported court documents showed Pacheco is also HIV-positive, and yes, some of his victims are indeed being tested for HIV.
Can you imagine being a child, being abused, and on top of that abuse being told you have a lifelong illness? Although treatable, it’s still an illness they face in a country whose healthcare system is in shambles.
The allegations came to light after one boy bravely stood up and said something.
‘One of the boys decided to speak up about what had happened to him, and then it was kind of a snowfall where another boy – the roommate – spoke up that it also happened to him.’
Of course, Pacheco has pleaded guilty, and his public defender has tried to poke holes in the accusations.
‘His federal public defender has said in court documents that the government’s allegations of the crimes committed by Pacheco include an “extraordinarily broad range of dates and lack of specificity.”‘
Here’s the thing, though. The fact the children stepped forward and gave any sort of detail is beyond courageous. Many fear, as noted by ProPublica, victims of any sort of abuse would be punished via their immigration case if they said anything.
‘Especially in this population, there is this fear that if you come forward and report abuse, it might affect your immigration case.’
So, on top of being sexually abused by an HIV-positive predator, you have to fear being deported back to a country you were attempting to escape. Good job, America. Real nice.
Oh, and guess what? This isn’t the first case of sexual abuse being reported in these detention centers. In another detention center owned by the SAME company (Southwest Key), one Magaz Negrete abused a 14-year-old girl.
‘Authorities say Magaz Negrete kissed and fondled the girl in her bedroom on June 27 in an encounter witnessed by the girl’s 16-year-old roommate. They said surveillance video shows Magaz Negrete, 32, approaching the bedroom several times throughout the night, though the bedroom itself was outside the camera’s view.’
The reporter who investigated the story, Michael Grabell, said the longer children are stuck in these detention centers, the more chance they have of being abused.
‘These shelters were never intended to be long-term group homes … and we’ve heard from various officials, various psychologists that the longer the kids are in the shelter the more time there is for inappropriate relationships to develop.’
This would bring anyone to one obvious question – what about background checks?
The center that Pacheco was at, Casa Kokopelli, has been in trouble before for not doing background checks, and Pacheco himself was employed for four months before a background check was completed. Though he had no record of abuse on his background check, how many others have slipped through the cracks? It apparently seems the abuse is rampant at Southwest Key camps.
‘At other Southwest Key facilities, police reports and call logs from the last five years detail inappropriate relationships with staff, dozens of runaways, sexual contact among kids at the shelters and other allegations of molestation by employees. In one case, ProPublica found, a 46-year-old youth care worker in Tucson was convicted of groping a 15-year-old boy who had just arrived in the United States five days earlier.’
So, is this what Trump and Trump supporters think is safe and fun? Because it sure as hell isn’t.
Featured image via screenshot Twitter.