An employee at a Phoenix detention center for migrant children faces sex crime charges after he allegedly molested a 14-year-old girl at the facility.
Fernando Magaz Negrete, 32, went into the 14-year-old girl's bedroom, kissed her and fondled her multiple times on the night of June 27, her roommates told investigators. The incident happened at a Southwest Key facility near 27th and Campbell avenues.
He first went into the room and kissed her, the roommates said. After she pushed him away, he continued to come back and enter the room, surveillance video showed.
During an interview, Negrete admitted he had kissed and groped the girl.
Southwest Key released the following statement from spokesperson Jeff Eller:
“When a child tells us of inappropriate behavior, we immediately call law enforcement and start an internal investigation as appropriate. That’s what happened in this case. Southwest Key always works with law enforcement to bring the full force of the law to bear when it is warranted.”
Magaz Negrete's arrest comes just days after a disturbing report from ProPublica finding in the past five years, police throughout the United States have responded to at least 125 calls reporting sex offenses at shelters that primarily serve immigrant children.
Negrete faces one count each of child molestation, sexual abuse and aggravated assault. He's due back in court Tuesday.