SIOUX CITY — A Sioux City couple brought an undocumented Guatemalan girl to Sioux City and sexually assaulted her, federal authorities say.
According to federal court documents, sometime between May 28 and June 19, Cristobal Francisco-Nicolas and Amy Francisco, of Sioux City, took in a girl who had traveled to the United States from Guatemala.
The young girl told authorities her mother died when she was 3 or 4 years old and that she lived with an aunt in Guatemala. Despite her reluctance and that of her aunt, her father brought her to the United States, crossing the Rio Grande about May 29. The pair were arrested by Border Patrol agents.
The following day, due to a lack of space at a detention center in El Paso, the girl and her father were released on an order of recognizance and supervision. They then flew to Omaha, where Francisco and Francisco-Nicolas picked them up and drove them to Sioux City, authorities said.
When they arrived in Sioux City, the girl’s father left her at Francisco and Francisco-Nicolas’s Hamilton Boulevard home, where she was locked in a room with a metal bed and a bucket for bodily waste.
According to the court documents, Francisco-Nicolas raped her while Francisco, his wife, watched. In all, she told authorities she was raped five times.
One morning, Francisco-Nicolas left for work and did not lock the door, while Francisco slept. The girl ran out of the house seeking someone who spoke Spanish to help her, and was found by the Sioux City Police Department.
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Police requested the help of Homeland Security Investigations, which obtained information on her and her father from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
At a meeting with authorities, Francisco-Nicolas said his sister in Guatemala told him about the girl and her father wanting to come to the United States. He arranged for them to come, sending them money.
Francisco-Nicolas told police he “knows he messed up and the mistake he made was receiving these people.” He requested an attorney when questioned about the alleged rape.
Francisco’s father, Ronald Craig, told authorities in an interview that the couple had assisted approximately 10 family members and friends of Francisco-Nicolas to travel to the United States from Guatemala, arranging for the migrants to come to the border with a child. Upon their release from U.S. custody, the migrants would meet with Francisco and Francisco-Nicolas, who would arrange for them to live in Sioux City.
Francisco and Francisco-Nicolas face a federal charge of bringing in and harboring certain aliens. It is not clear if they will face further charges relating to the alleged rape incidents.
They were arrested in Southern California and appeared there last Thursday before a federal court.