KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Abuse claimed against adults and children in immigrant shelter

TPD reports on Southwest Key shelter
Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 21:48:31-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Abuse reports continue to mount at shelters for immigrant children who are in the U.S. illegally.
A now-former worker at the Southwest Key facility in Mesa will face trial soon on charges of sex with two teens at a shelter there, and inappropriate touching with six others. 
He told police he is HIV-positive.

A man who worked at a Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix is facing charges -- he molested a fourteen year old girl.
A worker at Tucson's Southwest Key shelter was convicted in a sex abuse incident from 2015.

Since 2015 a converted motel on Tucson’s Oracle Road has been a shelter for children who came to this country illegally.  Tucson Police reports throughout that period give us a picture of how the staff treated the children and how the children treat each other.">
The Tucson shelter on Oracle can house about three hundred children at any one time.  
State law requires a report anytime something might put a child in danger. In roughly three and a half years that led to Tucson Police coming here more than a hundred times.
A boy from Honduras said in 2015 he awoke to find a worker tickling his chest and stomach and later tried to reach inside the boy's underwear.  The boy said the 46 year old told him, "I know what you want, I can give you anything you need."
The man was convicted of molestation.
In 2017, a 17-year-old from Honduras said he woke up to find a male staff member appraising his penis. "You have it very big," the man said. 
A security guard also found a note in one teen's pocket suggesting an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.
But Tucson Police records from January 2015 to July of this year also show most cases involve children abusing each other.

Records showed ten reports of inappropriate touching, six reports of children exposing themselves to other children or to staff, one claim of a staff member exposing himself to kids and four cases of children making sexual comments.
Police responded to fourteen assaults or fights.
Officers made very few arrests.  Their reports say sometimes the children retracted their claims. Police say many times it was hard to sort out who was telling the truth.
Runaway account for the biggest figure.   For 2015 to this July, fifteen children broke away, made it over the fence and were gone.