A 61-year-old Harlingen resident, and former Southwest Key employee, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual contact with a ward, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. According to the charges, Rodolfo Alanis was a youth care worker at Southwest Key in both McAllen and Brownsville. Southwest Key operates several facilities that temporarily house immigrant children. They have facilities in McAllen and Brownsville.
Alanis allegedly engaged in sexual contact with three minor children who, at the time, were detained and under the custody and authority of Alanis. The indictment further alleges the sexual contact occurred on three separate occasions while on board an airplane. If convicted, Alanis faces up to two years imprisonment on each count.
“The migrant children in these facilities are the most vulnerable; they are alone and often do not speak the language,” said Hamdani. “We have to entrust them to the care of others while there and as they are transported from point A to point B. As such, my office will seek to hold those accountable who allegedly violate that trust. These allegations are serious and we will follow the case to its end to ensure justice is served overall, but especially on behalf of any potential young victim.”
The FBI and Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia and Alexa Parcell are prosecuting the case.