Officials: Undocumented immigrant befriended neighbors, recorded molesting their child
LEBANON, Tenn. (WZTV) —
An undocumented immigrant was charged after the district attorney said he befriended his neighbors then repeatedly sneaked into their 6 year old’s room and recorded himself molesting her.
Edwin Velasquez Curuchiche was finally caught in the child’s bedroom after he had sneaked in and tried to get the girl to play with him. The victim’s dad found Curuchiche hiding in the victim’s closet and held him until police arrived.
The crimes happened in 2015, according to the news release from The United States Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee.
Curuchiche, 40, of Guatamala was living in Lebanon at the time the crimes occurred. Court documents say Curuchiche was living in a trailer park and befriended a family who lives nearby. The family had three children, ages 9, 6 and an infant.
Curuchiche is accused of giving the children video gaming systems and other electronic devices. He also told the kids he would play with them when their father wasn’t home.
Court documents said Curuchiche used a ruse to trick the mother into letting him borrow her house key, after which he copied the key.
In October 2015, Curuchiche is accused of sneaking into the family’s home and recorded himself sexually molesting the 6-year-old girl while she slept. The same act occurred again about a week later, court documents said.
In late October, the child told her parents someone was touching her while she slept. When the parents checked her room and found nothing, they assumed she was imagining things.
On the night of Oct. 29, 2015, they family came home after a trip to the store. The girl victim went to her bedroom to get a toy. Court documents said Curuchiche was hiding under her bed and tried to grab her by the arm. The suspect tried quieting her by telling her to play a game on her cell phone, which he had previously given to her.
The victim ran to her parents and the father found Curuchiche hiding in the girl’s bedroom closet. The father held him until police arrived.
Court documents also said Curuchiche also tried to give the girl Valium at one point when she was running a fever. When the mother refused, Curuchiche tried paying the 9-year-old brother to give the victim Valium.
Court documents show Curuchiche was apprehended in 2013 when he unlawfully entered the United States. He failed to appear for an immigration hearing and was living in the U.S. unlawfully when the crimes in Lebanon occurred.
“The defendant’s conduct here is among the most egregious that I have ever seen,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith. “It is almost unimaginable that an innocent child and her family were subjected to such horrific acts by an intruder who masked himself as a family friend. The sentence ultimately imposed by the Court should insure that the defendant never has another opportunity to victimize another child.”
Nathan Oates, a Nashville father of four, said he thinks authorities need to do better when it comes to vetting the people who come into the U.S.
"We have got to start taking better steps to vet," Oates said. "If we can create a better structure to help this system along, then by all means lets do that."
Curuchiche plead guilty to two counts of production of child pornography in Feb. 2017. On Monday, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.