San Diego – A 23-year-old woman who fled violence in Guatemala and is seeking asylum in the United States claimed she was sexually assaulted at a church shelter in Santee, California.
The woman, among the more than 50,000 undocumented immigrants who have recently made the perilous month-long journey to the United States, was staying at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement-recommended shelter Faith Family Christian Center with her family when she was allegedly assaulted at night.
"They think they are going to a safe country, and sometimes that's not the case," said Enrique Morones, Border Angels CEO and founder.
Morones, who has been at the forefront of helping the recent influx of migrant children and families, helped place the family of five in another shelter since the alleged incident.
"When she woke up he pulled down her pants, and the man was still there," said Morones. "She woke up and he went running out. It was just a horrific situation, the girl was terrified as was the mom because the mom was right there, too."
FOX 5 visited the faith-based shelter Tuesday to ask what had happened, but were greeted with aggression and a pelting of fruit from an outside tree. Phone calls to Pastor David L. Barrett who claims to be the founder of this faith-based shelter were unreturned.
ICE officials said they have referred immigrants who leave their custody to that particular shelter before, and do all they can to help them get to their final destination safely. According to ICE agents, no one is obligated to stay there.
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