Southwest Key employee sentenced for sexually abusing migrants

Feb 1, 2019, 2:25 PM
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)...
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

PHOENIX — A former Southwest Key employee was sentenced to 19 years in prison for sexually abusing seven teenage boys over a yearlong period at a Mesa facility.

Levian D. Pacheco, a 25-year-old Phoenix resident, was given the sentence on Jan. 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona announced Friday.

He was found guilty by a federal jury last September of seven counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual abuse of a ward.

Pacheco sexually abused the boys at the Casa Kokopelli Southwest Key Facility in Mesa between August 2016 and July 2017. He allegedly exposed some of them to the HIV virus.

The boys were being held at the facility pending possible detention. Pacheco was a youth care worker at the facility and was in charge of supervising them.

Another Southwest Key employee was arrested for allegedly molesting a minor in his care.

Fernando Magaz Negrete, 32, was arrested last August for kissing and inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl at a Phoenix facility.

Southwest Key facilities in Arizona stopped accepting minors last October and two facilities — Casa Phoenix in Phoenix and Hacienda Del Sol in Youngtown — shut their doors after the company settled with the state over a missed deadline regarding employee background checks.

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Southwest Key employee sentenced for sexually abusing migrants