Levian D. Pacheco, a youth care worker, has been arrested and charged with an astonishing 11 sexual offenses against minor children. These accusations come at a time when Pacheco was working at an Immigration facility in Mesa, Arizona.
The suspect allegedly forced multiple teenagers to perform sex acts on him and with him. He also groped a number of victims. His accusations stem from August of 2016 to July of 2017. These horrific acts reportedly happened while Pacheco was working at Southwest Key’s Casa Kokopelli. Police determined that the shelter had failed to perform an adequate background check on the suspect before hiring him. He worked at the shelter for nearly four months before a completed background check was performed.
Casa Kokopelli was designed to be a safe haven for immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border, and Southwest Key is currently the largest operator of immigrant youth shelters. The recent controversy swirling around the increased number of children has left many shelters overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed. Concerned citizens have been worried about the conditions of these shelters, and this allegation has only fueled their theories.
Pacheco’s arrest comes after a separate incident on August 31. Fernando Magaz Negrete, another employee at a Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix, was also arrested for sexually assaulting a minor.
In light of these allegations, the agency decided to remove all minors from the Casa Kokopelli shelter. They have issued a stop placement order for all future minors. The agency is taking the allegations very seriously. Some senators are calling for a widespread investigation of sexual and physical abuse at the shelters to be conducted by the U.S. Health and Human Services department.