U.S. authorities probe alleged sexual assault at Arizona's migrant center

Thursday 11th July, 2019
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

LOS ANGELES, July 11, (Xinhua/GNA) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed Wednesday it is investigating an allegation that one of its officers sexually assaulted a migrant girl at a facility in Yuma of Arizona.

The allegation that were first reported by the NBC news channel later Tuesday came from a 15-year-old Honduras girl.

She described a male officer putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her during a pat down in front of other migrants and officers.

Migrant children who have stayed at the Yuma Border Patrol Station Headquarters alleged other dozens mistreatment by some agents, including being forced to sleep on hard concrete, being scolding and being called on an offensive homophobic word.

In a statement, the CBP said the allegations in Arizona "do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated" and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General is already investigating the sexual assault allegation.

Meanwhile, Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, was quoted by the local KTAR news channel as saying that he is "very confident" that the allegations will be proven false since cameras around the facility can easily determine what took place.

These latest allegations in Yuma came amid growing concerns over the poor living conditions in border migrant facilities from Texas to Arizona.

A facility in Clint, Texas, has come under scrutiny following reports of spreading health and hygiene problems among "hundreds of children who were being held in cramped cells."

GNA