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Press Release

Youth Care Worker Convicted of Sexually Abusing Unaccompanied Minors in Southwest Key Facility

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

     PHOENIX – On Sept. 7, 2018, a federal jury convicted Levian D. Pacheco, 25, of Phoenix, Ariz., of seven counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual abuse of a ward.  U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan presided over the seven-day trial.  Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2018.

     "Ensuring the safety of all individuals held in federal custody is of utmost importance to this office," stated First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange.  "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."

     “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of children and holding accountable those who would sexually abuse these innocent victims,” said Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “When individuals violate their positions of trust and harm children, we will ensure these criminals are brought to justice for their actions.”

     Between August 2016 and July 2017, Pacheco sexually abused multiple minors at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility in Mesa, Ariz.  The minors were being held in official detention pending possible deportation.  Pacheco was employed as a youth care worker at the facility and was in charge of supervising the minors.  The jury convicted Pacheco of abusing seven teenage boys, some on more than one occasion. 

     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, as well as the Mesa Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by Dimitra H. Sampson and Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


CASE NUMBER:           CR-17-1152-PHX-SPL

RELEASE NUMBER:    2018-119_Pacheco


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Updated September 10, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 2018-119_Pacheco / CR-17-1152-PHX-SPL