Home » Lawsuit accuses New York National Guard soldiers of sexually exploiting migrants at hotel

Lawsuit accuses New York National Guard soldiers of sexually exploiting migrants at hotel

by John Jefferson
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Five New York National Guardsman and a contract worker are accused in a federal lawsuit of sexually exploiting asylum seekers staying at one of the hotels in the state hosting migrants.

Seven migrants detail several instances of sexual exploitation at a Quality Inn in Cheektowaga, New York, by at least six National Guard soldiers working at the hotel to help with the influx of migrants that have been bussed to the state, according to a report from Military.com.

The lawsuit, which was filed on February 8, accuses the soldiers of taking migrants, sometimes including teens, away from the hotel and asking for sexual favors or attempting to enter into romantic relationships with them.

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“The guests were (and remain) particularly vulnerable, given their uncertain immigration status, lack of mobility, need of basic supplies, and other needs,” the lawsuit reads. “Even a trip to a Walmart was considered a great gift.”

Sgt. Deven Colon, a religious affairs specialist with 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, is the only soldier named in the lawsuit. According to the report, Colon was the high-ranking Guardsman on duty at the hotel and is alleged to have had an inappropriate relationship with a Migrant that included buying her gifts, making sexual comments, and taking her to his home and other locations. Colon also allegedly told the asylum seeker that he had the authority to help her, the lawsuit claims, promising to get her and her children a house and to support them.

The trips away from the hotel were referred to as “dates” by Colon, the lawsuit claims, noting that on one occasion the soldier arranged with six other Guardsmen to transport the woman and her children to a rental property about two hours from the hotel. The soldier then allegedly “demanded” sexual favors from the woman, which the suit claims she reluctantly agreed” to.

According to the report, Colon then texted the woman the next day and apologized while telling her to keep their encounter a secret.

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“I am just so lost and I need to find myself again. I don’t recognize the man I have become in these last few months,” the text read, according to the lawsuit.

Colon is also accused of taking at least one other woman and her children from the hotel and giving the mother a massage while flirting with her teenage daughter, later texting the teen to tell her he thought she was attractive, the lawsuit claims.

The 27th Brigade Combat Team, which 2nd Squadron, 101st Calvary Regiment falls under, did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has tasked the state’s National Guard with helping with the migrant crisis in the state, with about 175,000 asylum seekers being transported to the state as they process their cases. According to the report, 2,100 troops have been put on active duty to help manage the influx.

National Guard soldiers help with migrant crisis

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Many of the migrants are housed at hotels like the one in Cheektowaga, which is located just outside of Buffalo.

Another teenager at that hotel claims that a National Guard soldier identified only as “Thomas” in the lawsuit groped her before, causing her to run away. Other children were warned to stay away from Thomas, the lawsuit claims.

National Guardsman helps with migrants

In a statement to Military.com, a spokesperson with the New York National Guard said that the allegations against its personnel are being taken “very seriously.”

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“If allegations are substantiated following an investigation — can result in adverse administrative and/or disciplinary actions pursuant to regulation and New York State Military Law,” the spokesperson said. “Criminal activities are referred to law enforcement for appropriate action.”

Read the full article here

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