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Press Release

Youth Care Worker Sentenced to 19 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Unaccompanied Minors in Southwest Key Facility

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

     PHOENIX – On Jan. 14, 2019, Levian D. Pacheco, 25, of Phoenix, Ariz, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan to 19 years’ imprisonment, followed by lifetime supervised release.  Pacheco was previously convicted by a federal jury of seven counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual abuse of a ward.  The statutory maximum sentence for sexual abuse of a ward is 15 years in prison and the statutory maximum for abusive sexual contact with a ward is 2 years in prison.  U.S. District Court Judge Logan ordered several of Pacheco’s counts to run consecutively.

     The evidence at trial showed that between August 2016 and July 2017, Pacheco sexually abused numerous teenage boys at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility in Mesa, Ariz.  The minors were being held in official detention in these facilities 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 sexually abusing seven victims, some on more than one occasion.  The acts involved over the clothes touching of the boys’ genitalia, as well as other sexual abuse. Pacheco’s sentence was increased due to the fact that he exposed some of his victims to the HIV virus.

     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:    2019-002_Pacheco


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Updated February 1, 2019

Press Release Number: 2019-002_Pacheco / CR-17-1152-PHX-SPL