2017-07-12 / Front Page

Local residents face felony charges of sexual offenses with minor girl

BY ALLEN ESSEX
Reporter

A pair of Raymondville residents face charges related to sexual assault of a 15-yearold illegal alien allegedly coerced into sex acts while fearing she would be turned over to immigration authorities.

“Raymondville police arrested Raul Arevalo Jr., 77, and Monica Garcia, 30, on June 29, charging Arevelo with one count of sexual assault of a child and Garcia with three charges: compelling prostitution, trafficking persons for sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a child,” said Detective Denise Y. Ledesma.

“Arevalo was arrested at a traffic stop near his home,” Ledesma said.

Garcia was arrested at her residence.

“Arevalo had a pacemaker device implanted sometime between the alleged incident and his arrest,” Ledesma said.

The two were arraigned by Municipal Judge Felicita Gutierrez, who placed a bond of $50,000 on Arevalo and a total of $113,000 in bonds on Garcia.

Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said the pair were booked into the county jail at 4:40 p.m. June 30 and were released on bond at 7:17 p.m.

“The 15-year-old girl who was the only known victim in the case made an outcry, contacting police, but it is suspected there are more underage girls who may have been involved,” Ledesma said. In the case, Garcia is the alleged “pimp” and Arevalo is the “john,” but police are seeking any information in the case.

“We want to talk to anyone with information or who may have been a victim,” Ledesma said. She may be contacted at the Raymondville Police at 956-689-2421.

“Garcia was a friend of the victim’s family so she had direct knowledge the girl was here illegally and had used the threat of turning her over to the Border Patrol or other federal authorities and also enticed her to have sex with Arevalo by offering money,” Ledesma said.

“Arevalo has often been seen in the company of younger women and is known for driving flashy cars,” Ledesma and the sheriff said.

“He’s called ‘The Playboy,” Ledesma said. An Army veteran on a disability pension, Arevalo seems to have been unemployed for many years. “Rumors are that he has had a lot of young girls around him,” Ledesma said. But there are no official complaints on file against him.

Sheriff Spence said Arevalo has made complaints in the past that items were missing from his home, but since he often had a lot of people at his home, that would not be surprising. “But he lives in town, so that would be a (city police department) matter,” Spence said.

“Arevalo’s father was Willacy County sheriff in the early 1980s and had been a constable and a deputy sheriff prior to being elected sheriff,” Spence said. “Raul Arevalo Sr. was a decorated World War II veteran’ it is not known if Arevalo was or is married, but he does have children,” Spence said.

“He (Arevalo Jr.) used to go back and forth to Mexico a lot, something to do with bell peppers,” Spence said.

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