A man who entered the United States with a girl he claimed was his daughter has been arrested and charged on multiple felony offenses for rape, oral copulation, forcible sexual penetration, and endangering/causing injury to a child.
Ramon Pedro and his alleged daughter entered the United States at the Ysleta Port of Entry in Texas on April 16, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Customs and Border Protection arrested them upon entry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) subsequently released them under an alternatives-to-detention program (most likely one requiring an ankle bracelet on Pedro). ICE only has 2,500 family beds available, which are often at capacity, hence the use of alternatives-to-detention programs.
Over three months later, on July 26, Pedro and his alleged daughter were hospitalized at the Fresno Community Regional Hospital for tuberculosis (TB) screening, according to DHS.
“At this time, medical staff discovered that Pedro’s alleged daughter was being sexually assaulted and the local police were notified,” a DHS official said in a statement. “Then it was determined that Pedro and the daughter are not related at all.
“In fact, the victim’s mother told her daughter to accompany Pedro to the United States, and he would secure her employment.”
Pedro was arrested the following day and is currently detained in Fresno County Jail on a $310,000 bond.
Two-thirds of migrants traveling through Mexico report experiencing violence along the journey, including abduction, theft, extortion, torture, and rape, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has been been providing medical and mental health care for migrants and refugees in Mexico since 2012.
Almost 1 in 3 women surveyed by MSF said they had been sexually abused during their journey—60 percent through rape.
Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan said the agency’s intelligence and interviews put the numbers even higher.