A former employee at a Texas migrant shelter was accused of fondling a 16-year-old Guatemalan and offered other children candy in exchange for sexual favors, say Houston police.
Edgar Alexander Campos, 23, faces a charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact. He was arrested and booked into the Harris County Jail Friday on $30,000 bail. Online jail records show the suspect remains in custody.
Previously, Campos oversaw approximately 32 minors at St. Michael’s Home for Children. Allegedly, some months ago, he fondled the teen’s penis after the boy asked if he could borrow Campos’ cell phone to call his parents in Guatemala, according to the Houston Chronicle. Campos apparently told the teen he needed a sexual favor in return for the use of his phone. Once the 16-year-old gave him back the phone, Campos placed his hand down the boy’s pants.
Later that night, Campos allegedly entered the teenager’s room and rubbed the boy’s penis while the juvenile slept, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by the Houston newspaper. The teen awoke, startled. Police said Campos then fled. Later, he reportedly apologized to the 16-year-old.
Officers also said they obtained surveillance footage showing Campos entering the bedrooms of other minors after hours at least four times from August to September. Such action is against regulations and, reportedly, Campos was reprimanded twice. Subsequently, Houston detectives interviewed other children in the shelter who said Campos offered them candy for sexual favors.
Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston operates St. Michael’s Home for Children. According to their website, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement refers to them unaccompanied alien minors and they work to reunite these youths with relatives in the U.S. or in their country of origin.
Catholic Charities spokeswoman Betsy Ballard told the Chronicle the shelter has “adhered to absolutely every reporting requirement to the letter in addressing this situation.” She declined to address further details about the Campos investigation until after Houston police complete their ongoing probe. “We’re just being really careful so we don’t cause any problems for the investigation,” she stated. “I think the most important thing to us is that our children are protected and the integrity of the system is intact.”
Additionally, Catholic Charities released a prepared statement in which they named their “first priority” as providing a “safe and secure environment” for those children entrusted in their care. It continued: “We have a 75 year history of helping the most vulnerable individuals of all ages through our comprehensive and caring network of social service programs. We have strict processes for our prospective employees involving background checks, references and more.”
Campos is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on March 7.