NEW YORK (AP) — An asylum seeker was sexually assaulted by an armed guard at a federal building in New York City where the FBI maintains its offices, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.
Jimmy Solano-Arias, 42, of the Bronx, was charged in Manhattan federal court with disenfranchisement under the guise of law involving kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. The charge carries a potential penalty of a maximum sentence of life in prison. He lost his job after his arrest on May 5, one day after the attack allegedly occurred. He is free on bail.
According to a criminal complaint signed by an FBI agent, Solano-Arias admitted in a videotaped interview with federal agents that the asylum seeker engaged in oral sex but claimed it was consensual.
Michael J. Driscoll, the FBI’s New York office chief, said in a statement that the asylum seeker had gone to 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan on May 4 to file an asylum application.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Solano-Arias, who worked for a company that provides armed security for the building through contracts with the Federal Protective Service, was tasked with keeping federal employees and visitors to the building safe.
Instead, he “used his uniform and firearm to force a vulnerable asylum seeker to perform oral sex on him,” Williams said.
According to charging documents, Solano-Arias saw the victim in a line and offered to help him with the paperwork.
She eventually led the man to a locked office on the second floor of the building where she put her hand on her holstered firearm and demanded that the man give her oral sex, according to a criminal complaint.
Although he initially resisted, the man complied because he saw Solano-Arias’ hand on his firearm and feared for his life, the complaint says.
Solano-Arias then told the victim to wait in the office until the hallway was clear, and the man managed to record a short video on his cellphone of Solano-Arias, according to the complaint.
The victim immediately reported the sexual assault to authorities, identified Solano-Arias in a series of six-image photos, and provided enough information for federal agents to confront Solano-Arias when she arrived the next day, according to the complaint.
An attorney for Solano-Arias did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
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