Mesa police have arrested a 23-year-old Mexico resident accused of smuggling nine people across the border and raping one of them.
Octavio Luis Perez confessed to raping the youngest member of the border crossers, a 17-year-old girl, said Mesa detective Michael Melendez.
Police received three 911 calls about 3:45 a.m. Thursday from people who reported seeing a partially dressed girl crying and running barefoot near Main Street and Extension Road, Melendez said.
When police found her, she told them she had been raped by the coyote who had brought her and eight others across the border a few hours earlier, Melendez said.
"She was taken to a motel with the others, but at some point she was told she was going to be taken to another motel where there were some other females," he said.
Once at the other motel, the girl was raped, Melendez said.
"After he’s done, she goes into the bathroom and is able to get out through a window," Melendez said.
The girl was driven up and down Main Street and was able to identify the motel she was originally taken to. Perez was standing outside a room at the Kiva Motel, 668 W. Main Street, and the victim immediately identified him as the suspect, Melendez said.
Perez was taken into custody and he confessed to raping the girl, Melendez said.
Perez had rented rooms at both the Kiva Motel and the Trava-Leers, 836 W. Main St. for the border crossers, Melendez said.
Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are investigating the smuggling.
The girl is in the custody of Child Protective Services and arrangements are being made so she can stay in the United States until trial, Melendez said.
Perez is being held without bail in the Maricopa County’s Madison Street Jail in Phoenix on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault.