Illegal Immigrant Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Assaulting 11-Year-Old Girl in Florida

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
May 7, 2024US News
Illegal Immigrant Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Assaulting 11-Year-Old Girl in Florida
20-year-old Marvin Perez Lopez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, confessed to kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl (Courtesy of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office).

An illegal immigrant from Guatemala has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in Lake Worth Beach, Florida, deputies said.

The suspect, 20-year-old Marvin Perez Lopez, was arrested on Saturday and has confessed to his crimes, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. He is currently being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond.

According to investigators, Mr. Lopez left Guatemala in early January, crossed through Mexico, and turned himself into Border Patrol when he arrived in the United States. He was given a court date for 2027 to decide his immigration status and was subsequently released.

By the end of January, he had traveled to Florida to live with his brother and wife—next door to the victim.

At around 8 or 9 p.m. Thursday evening, Mr. Lopez lured the girl into a van parked outside their homes. They had met before, and he had even told her he was 17 at some point, the girl told police.

In the van, he kissed her on the lips and tried to take her clothing off, the girl testified. She pushed him away and got out of the van, but the suspect pulled her back into the van.

Meanwhile, the girl’s mother, who was under the impression that her child was inside the home, found that she was not and went looking for her outside. She realized her daughter was in the van and started banging on the doors. Mr. Lopez then bolted out of the van and ran away.

The girl had her pants down and was bleeding, according to the police report.

The mother immediately confronted her neighbors.

According to the police report, Mr. Lopez promised the mother he’d be the child’s girlfriend if she’d let him.

The girl’s mother decided against calling the police because she feared her own immigration status might be compromised. She later told investigators that she had a prior experience when her daughter was temporarily taken from her by authorities.

Though the mother did not call the police, word spread fast, and workers at the Guatemalan Maya Center—an immigrant and refugee non-profit—did. Police detectives arrived at Mr. Lopez’s residence Friday around 11:30 p.m. When they knocked on the door, the suspect jumped out of a window at the back of the house and disappeared.

He was arrested the next day.

“Our work in the community paid off because we have a good relationship with [the Guatemalan Maya center],” Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said on social media. “We have a lot of people here in Palm Beach County that may or may not be illegal, and they become victims. They shouldn’t be afraid to call us. We’re not going to call Border Patrol if they’re a victim and haven’t committed a crime. We’re going to help them.”

The arrest happened barely a week after Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens announced three child sex offenders were arrested in just one weekend after illegally entering Texas, bringing the total of criminals with prior sex offenses that snuck across the border to 133 so far this year.

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