Levian Pacheco is an HIV positive youth worker who allegedly molested at least eight boys in an immigration detention center in Arizona. The incidents in the case allegedly took place between August 2016 and July 2017. But the case did not become public knowledge until Propublica reported it on August 2, 2018.
Pacheco worked for Southwest Key, a nonprofit that runs immigration detention facilities in Texas, Arizona, and California. Another Southwest Key employee, Fernando Negrete, was recently charged with molesting a 14 year old in a different detention facility.
Pacheco has denied all of the allegations against him.
Here’s what you need to know about Levian Pacheco:
1. Pacheco Is Accused of Performing Oral Sex on Two Teenage Boys And Trying to Force Another Teen to Penetrate Him Anally
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 3, 2018
Prosecutors are charging that Pacheco molested at least eight teenage boys between 2016 and 2017. They say he performed oral sex on two of the teenagers, and tried to get another teenager to penetrate him. He allegedly inappropriately touched six other teenage boys at the facility.
All of the boys were between 15 and 17 years old at the time. Their names have not been made public.
The alleged abuse took place at Southwest Key’s Casa Kokopelli shelter in Mesa, Arizona, where Levian Pacheco worked as a youth worker. He first began working at the shelter in May 2016.
2. Pacheco Is HIV Positive. Some of His Alleged Victims Have Asked to Be Tested for HIV
Court documents say that Pacheco is HIV positive. The documents also show that some of his alleged victims have asked to be tested for HIV themselves.
The documents do not say whether any of the alleged victims tested positive for HIV.
Pacheco is accused of molesting at least eight boys between 2016 and 2017, while he worked for a Southwest Key immigration detention center in Mesa, Arizona. He has denied all of the allegations.
3. Pacheco Says He Is Innocent. His Lawyer Says He “Looks Forward” to Defending Pacheco In Court
Pacheco has been assigned a public defender, Benjamin Good. Good says that his client is completely innocent. He has said that the charges against Pacheco have an “extraordinarily broad range of dates and lack of specificity.”
Benjamin Good has also said that he “looks forward” to defending his client in court.
Pacheco was first investigated by local police. His case is now proceeding through US district court in Phoenix.
4. Pacheco Worked In The Detention Facility For Almost Four Months Before His Background Check Was Completed
Keystone West, the immigration facility where Pacheco worked, has a record of being negligent about running background checks on its workers. An investigation by ProPublica found that the Arizona Department of Health Services had issued Keystone West with a citation for not running background checks and fingerprinting its staff.
Pacheco worked for Keystone West for almost four months before he was checked out. In his case, the background check didn’t reveal anything. He had no previous record of sexual abuse or misconduct.
Pacheco, who was arrested in 2017, maintains that he is completely innocent. He is accused of performing oral sex on two teenagers and trying to get a third teenager to penetrate him. He is also accused of inappropriately touching six other tennage boys. All of the alleged victims were being held at a detention center for minors in Mesa, Arizona, where Pacheco was a youth worker.
5. Keystone West, Where Pacheco Worked, Has Faced Other, Recent Sex Abuse Allegations
There have been a number of recent sex abuse incidents reported at Keystone West detention facilities. Just a few days ago, police arrested Fernando Negrete, a 32 year old Keystone West employee. Negrete was accused of kissing and touching a 14 year old girl in her room at the detention center. (She pushed him away.)
And the Nation magazine reported last week that a six year old girl had been sexually abused in another Southwest Key Facility. The alleged victim has only been identified by her initials, D.L.
According to the Nation, D.L was allegedly abused by a boy at the Southwest Key facility on at least two separate occasions. The Nation’s reporting indicates that Southwest Key was aware of the allegations after the first incident. They told D.L.’s father and provided some form of counseling for D.L. — but allegedly, even after that, the same boy fondled D.L. and other girls at the facility again.
The Nation reports that the 6 year old D.L. was made to sign a form saying that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her alleged abuser.