Levian D. Pacheco, who is HIV-positive, has been charged with 11 sex offences after accusations that he had molested at least eight immigrant boys.
Court records show that Pacheco has been accused of performing oral sex on two boys and trying to force another to penetrate him
Pacheco, 25, was convicted by a federal jury in Arizona on Friday
He was found guilty of molesting seven teenage boys aged 15 to 17
The abuse took place at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility between August 2016 and July 2017
Pacheco was employed as a youth care worker at the facility and was in charge of supervising the minors
Convicted: HIV-positive, former immigration detention center employee Levian D. Pacheco, [photo], was found guilty of molesting young boys detained at the Arizona facility where he was employed
Levian D. Pacheco, who is HIV-positive, was charged with 11 sex offences after accusations that he had molested at least eight immigrant boys. Court records show that Pacheco has been accused of performing oral sex on two boys and trying to force another to penetrate him.
The former care worker at an Arizona facility for immigrant youths has been found guilty of molesting seven teenage boys. Pacheco, 25, was convicted by a federal jury in Phoenix on Friday of seven counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual abuse of a ward.
Authorities said HIV positive man, sexually abused the boys aged 15 to 17 between August 2016 and July 2017. The abuse took place at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility in Mesa, Arizona.
The victims were being held in official detention pending possible deportation, and Pacheco was employed as a youth care worker at the facility and was in charge of supervising the minors, authorities said.
The jury convicted Pacheco of abusing the seven teenage boys, including some on more than one occasion. One boy from Guatemala told authorities that Pacheco groped him in a bathroom while he was washing his hands.
Another victim said Pacheco abused him while he was in medical isolation. A third boy told authorities Pacheco tried to have anal sex with him at the facility. Six teens said Pacheco had groped them through their clothing.
Pacheco was in charge of the minors at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility in Mesa, Arizona [photo], when he allegedly molested 8 boys between Aug 2016 and July 2017
All of the incidents are alleged to have taken place between August 2016 and July 2017.
Pacheco’s trial lasted seven days and his sentencing is scheduled for December 3.
‘Ensuring the safety of all individuals held in federal custody is of utmost importance to this office,’ First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange said.
‘This verdict demonstrates our commitment to securing justice for the teenage boys the defendant abused and sends a message to others in positions of trust that these crimes will not be tolerated.’
Pacheco’s case was revealed amid a furor over the separation of parents from their children as part of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
The case, initially investigated by local police, was tried in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix. Pacheco had worked at Southwest Key’s Casa Kokopelli shelter, one of eight the company runs in Arizona, since May 2016.
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 hadn’t previously committed sex offenses and other crimes, records show.
Pacheco worked for nearly four months without a complete background check, according to documents and an agency official. Those records did not show any previous arrests or convictions for sex offenses, they said.
Pacheco disclosed he was HIV positive when he was arrested, according to court records. Officials with the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS educated the teenage boys about HIV and how it is transmitted and a “couple” of the eight children sought testing, records state. The outcome of those tests have not been made public.