Sioux City couple arrested on federal charges of smuggling also accused of rape

A Sioux City Couple were arrested on federal charges in San Diego after a girl was found wandering the streets in Sioux City on June 5th who claimed to have been raped and held captive after being smuggled by the couple.

Amy Francisco and her husband Cristobal Francisco-Nicolas are accused of smuggling at least 10 people from Guatemala to Sioux City. Federal Court documents charge the couple with smuggling and harboring immigrants. It says they arranged for at least 10 people to come to the United States and bring a child with them. Once they entered the US they were told to turn themselves in and they would then be released due to overcrowding.

Once released Amy and Cristobal would pay for them to come to Sioux City by plane or bus where they would help them with food, clothing, a place to stay and to obtain a job. They would then be required to pay rent and repay travel costs.

On June 5th in Sioux City a female identified as ABF was found wandering the streets, she said she had been sexually assaulted and locked in a room with only a metal bed and a bucket. She escaped the room she said she was locked in and raped 5 times by Cristobal while Amy watched after Cristobal left or work one day and forgot to lock the room and Amy was sleeping.

Cristobal Francisco-Nicolas told police his sister told him about ABF and her father Fernando Bartolo-Francisco who desired to come to the US. He said he paid someone by a money transfer service. He said he knows he messed up and the mistake was receiving these people. He requested an attorney when asked about the alleged rape.

Amy Francisco told police that a woman named Sofia asked her if she could pay for tickets to bring relatives to Nebraska and gave her cash to purchase plan tickets. She said she and her husband agreed to pick up Bartolo-Francisco and his daughter ABF and let them stay at their home. During her interview with police, ABF identified Sofia as Amy Francisco.

In a search of the home by police in Sioux City, three other Guatemalan citizens were found as well as Amy Francisco's father. He told police the couple had arranged for at least 10 people to come to the US in the same way by turning themselves in, requiring them to bring a child with them.