Illegal immigrant arrested for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a van - and mom didn't call the cops

LAKE WORTH BEACH, FL - Authorities with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBCSO) announced that an illegal immigrant from Guatemala has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

According to WPTV, the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Marvin Perez, was arrested on Saturday, May 4th. The probable cause affidavit stated that the incident occurred on Thursday, May 2nd, in a parked van near the family's home. The young girl's mother told investigators that she thought her daughter was inside their home, but when she realized she was not, she went outside to find her.

After walking around outside for a few, she realized that her daughter was in the van with the man. She told investigators that she banged on the car and asked them what they were doing. The illegal immigrant ran out of the van, saying he was sorry and asked the mother for her forgiveness as he fled the scene on foot. The affidavit said that Lopez and the child live in the same apartment building.

The mother reportedly did not contact the police after the incident because she was worried about her own immigration status and because of a prior incident when her daughter was taken from her by authorities for a short time. According to the New York Post, when sheriff's deputies later went to Lopez's home, he was spotted escaping through a back window and fleeing into an alleyway. 

He was eventually caught, almost three days later and arrested. The sheriff's office said that Lopez was free in the United States after illegally crossing the southern border back in January. At the time, he turned himself into Border Patrol and was listed as an "undocumented migrant." He was given an immigration court date for 2027. 

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said, "Here's a Guatemalan, who came into the country illegally was stopped by the border people, released, and made his way to South Florida. And now he commits a crime where he had an 11-year-old girl against her will and sexually assaulted her. We grabbed him. He's confessed to the crime. So he's gonna get tried for a capital crime before he even remotely thinks he's gonna get deported. He's gonna do the time here first."

Bradshaw added, "The federal government is victimizing the people who live in this country by letting these people in here." Investigators reportedly interviewed the young girl, who said that Lopez grabbed her hand and told her to "get into the van." She said that he started touching her and that she pushed him away. The child said she was able to get out of the van, however, he grabbed her and pulled her back in. The affidavit said that the young girl then outlined how Lopez sexually assaulted her.

In a post on X, Sheriff Bradshaw said that workers at the Guatemalan Maya Center were the ones to alert them about the sexual assault. He wrote, "Our work in the community paid off because we have a good relationship with that center. 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."
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