San Diego

Smuggler pleads guilty to child rape of minor during illegal travel from Tijuana to San Diego

The minor had serious sexual injuries when they were found

In a press statement, San Diego authorities informed that 27-year-old Cecilio Yonatan Jiménez Bautista pleaded guilty to illegally smuggling people and rape.

This incident occurred against a 17-year-old, who he sexually assaulted at different times while traveling from Mexico to the United States. The young woman was traveling completely alone, without family members or guardians who could take responsibility for her or who could protect her.

According to Jiménez Bautista himself, he led at least 25 undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States He charged between $5,000 and $9,500 dollars per immigrant.

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When he was arrested, both Cecilio and another person were leading a group of 10 undocumented immigrants that were traveling from Tijuana, Baja California to an area near Otay Lakes Road in Chula Vista. This group included a minor.

It should be noted that the minor had serious sexual injuries when she was found. According to U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath, "The brutal victimization of a 17-year-old minor is yet another example of the cruelty of smugglers who care only about profit.”

In addition, she stated the following:

“HSI special agents remain vigilant to investigate violent human smugglers capable of such revolting actions in the course of circumventing our country’s immigration laws.”

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2024, and this case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine McGrath and Edward Chang of the Southern District of California, and Trial Attorney Danielle L. Hickman of the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

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