Maricopa man accused of sexually assaulting girl for years

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Felipe Barrera Pacheco By Jennifer Thomas Felipe Barrera Pacheco By Jennifer Thomas

MARICOPA -- A man living in Maricopa is accused of sexually assaulting a girl for several years.

The 14-year-old told Pinal County sheriff's detectives Tuesday that a family acquaintance had been sexually assaulting her since she was 8 years old and threatened to "kill her with a gun" if she told anyone. He also reportedly said that if she told law enforcement, he would "shoot it out with the cops."

Detectives took Felipe Barrera Pacheco, 43, into custody on Wednesday. According to sheriff's spokesman Tim Gaffney, Pacheco made admissions that confirmed to detectives that the sexual assaults had taken place.

Pacheco was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for six counts of sexual assault on a minor, three counts of child molestation and one count of kidnapping. He is being held without bond.

Gaffney said detectives requested Barrera be held on a high bond status due to the fact he is not a U.S. citizen, has family in Mexico, works during the week in Nogales and has a prior sexual misconduct and disorderly conduct offense that took place in Santa Cruz County.

"Felipe Barrera Pacheco used his relationship with the victim's family and betrayed that trust and forcibly sexually assaulted this young female victim," Sheriff Paul Babeu said. "Most victims of sexual assault and rape never report the crimes committed against them and therefore live in silence and hamper healing. I'm very proud of this young victim's strength and courage to report the crimes against her and to seek help and justice."