Fernando Negrete: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


Fernando Negrete is an employee at a shelter for immigrant kids who is accused of molesting a 14 year old shelter resident.

A witness said she saw Negrete kissing and touching a 14 year old girl in her room. On July 31, police in Phoenix arrested the 32 year old Negrete for allegedly kissing the girl and touching her inappropriately over her clothes in her room. Negrete admitted to kissing and touching the girl, who pushed him away.

Negrete has been fired from his job and is in jail awaiting his first court date.

The shelter he worked in is run by Southwest Key, a Texas-based company. Southwest Key is a private company contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services. It operates more than two dozen detention facilities for immigrant children in Texas, Arizona and California. In recent years, Southwest Key has faced other charges that their employees molested children in their care.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Negrete Faces Charges of Child Molestation After Allegedly Touching the 14 Year Old’s Breasts And Crotch Through Her Clothes

Witnesses say that Negrete kissed the 14 year old girl, and touched her breasts and her crotch through her clothes. The girl’s identity has been kept hidden for the sake of her privacy.

The victim said that Negrete came into her room at night to kiss and touch her. She said that she pushed him away. A witness — a 16 year old girl who was staying at the same facility — said she saw Negrete kissing and touching the girl. And surveillance video from the facility shows that Negrete was repeatedly approaching the girl’s room on the evening of June 27.

2. Negrete Has Been Fired and Has Been Jailed Until His Next Court Hearing, on August 7


Police arrested Negrete on July 31. Southwest Key, the company that runs the immmigration shelter, fired Negrete. Jeff Eller, a Southwest Key spokesman, told the press that the company had terminated Negrete but did not give any further details. He added, “When a child tells us of inappropriate behavior, we immediately call law enforcement and start an internal investigation as appropriate. “Southwest Key always works with law enforcement to bring the full force of the law to bear when it is warranted.”

Negrete’s bond is set at $150,000 and his next court hearing is scheduled for August 7. He faces charges of molestation, aggravated assault and sexual abuse.

3. Southwest Key, the Company That Runs the Shelter, Has Faced Allegations of Sexual Abuse in the Past

This isn’t the first time that Southwest Key has faced charges of sexual abuse at their facilities. Records obtained by the Arizona Republic show there have been at least two alleged incidents of child sexual abuse at Southwest Key immigration facilities.

A 15-year-old boy charged in 2015 that a Southwest Key employee named Oscar Trujillo had touched him in his genital area over his clothing and tried to pull down his pants. Trujillo was convicted of class 5 sexual abuse.

And in 2017, a girl at the Glendale Southwest Key facility accused a staff member in of making sexually suggestive comments to her and dancing inappropriately in front of other children there. Southwest Key told police they were handling that matter internally.

4. Negrete Allegedly Confessed to Kissing and Touching the 14 Year Old

Phoenix Police sergeant Vince Lewis said that police responded to a call at the Southwest Key facility — which is located near 26th and Campbell avenues — on the afternoon of July 25.

The police report said that a 16 year old girl — the alleged victim’s roommate — told police she had “observed Negrete kissing and inappropriately touching” the alleged victim. The witness said that Negrete had kissed the girl three or four times.

Negrete apparently admitted to police that he had touched the girl over her clothes and that he had kissed her.

5. Last Week, News Reports Said a Six Year Old Was Molested By Another Child At A Southwest Key Facility

The Nation magazine reported last week that a six year old girl had been sexually abused in another Southwest Key Facility. The alleged victim has only been identified by her initials, D.L.

According to the Nation, D.L was allegedly abused by a boy at the Southwest Key facility on at least two separate occasions. The Nation’s reporting indicates that Southwest Key was aware of the allegations after the first incident. They told D.L.’s father and provided some form of counseling for D.L. — but allegedly, even after that, the same boy fondled D.L. and other girls at the facility again.

The Nation reports that the 6 year old D.L. was made to sign a form saying that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her alleged abuser.

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