Shelters are generally regarded as places for people in need to seek refuge. Unfortunately, these shelters can also serve as hunting grounds for various predators. An employee who previously worked at an Arizona shelter for migrants is currently facing nearly two decades in prison for the sexual abuse of various minors, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Reviewing What Happened
25-year-old Levian Pacheco has been charged for the sexual abuse of at least seven different boys at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility. Moreover, this is not Pacheco’s first encounter with sexual predation; previous legal records affirm his infliction of sexual abuse upon a ward. The 25-year-old’s abuse of the young boys at the shelter involved touching their private parts over their clothing and even exposing the boys to HIV, an incurable sexually transmitted infection.
Due to the nature of his crimes, Pacheco will carry out a prison sentence of 19 years and receive lifelong supervision following the completion of his sentence; the aforementioned penalty was issued to Pacheco on January 14, 2019. The boys Pacheco abused were between the ages of 15 and 17 and facing the prospects of deportation during their time at the Arizona facility. It appears as though the boys’ situations led Pacheco to view them as easy targets.
Jeff Eller, a spokesperson for the Southwest Key Program, issued the following public statement about the incident when it became public back in September 2018:
“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 acting immediately by calling law enforcement and suspending the individual involved. We then worked closely with law enforcement and the U.S. attorney’s office throughout the investigation and the trial and will continue to do so as this case proceeds to sentencing. We continue to make the safety of the children our highest priority.”
Are you surprised about the actions of Levian Pacheco? Do you believe that there are others like him at facilities for migrants? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Gabrielle Seunagal is a full-time writer. Some of her favorite subjects to write about include politics, cybersecurity, and current events. When Gabrielle is not advancing her writing career, she is reading, traveling, or studying martial arts.