19-year prison sentence for ex-youth care worker convicted of sex abuse

PHOENIX (AP) -- A former youth care worker convicted of sexually abusing seven teenage boys at a Phoenix-area shelter for immigrant children has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Levian D. Pacheco of Phoenix faced a tougher punishment at his Jan. 14 sentencing because he exposed some victims to the HIV virus.

A jury found Pacheco guilty in September on seven counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual abuse of a ward.

Prosecutors say Pacheco sexually abused the boys at the Southwest Key facility in Mesa between August 2016 and July 2017.

The teens were being held in official detention pending possible deportation.

Pacheco was in charge of supervising them.

Pacheco wasn't working there when family separations began in large numbers last year.