ANDERSON, Ind. - A 17-year-old exchange student is charged with raping an 11-year-old relative of his host family.
Victor Perez, 17, from Guatemala, faces adult charges of rape, criminal deviate conduct and child molestation.
An 11-year-old Anderson girl told police that Perez forced himself on her in September when they were alone together, threatening her life.
"Victor threatened that he would cover her mouth so that she couldn't breathe if (the girl) would tell anyone what he had done," according to the probable cause affidavit.
The girl's mother told police she noticed a change in her daughter's behavior, and when she asked if everyone was OK, the girl told her about the incident.
Perez has been with his host family since April as part of Southwest Key, a nonprofit program that links juvenile undocumented immigrants with American families to avoid jail time.
Perez had been attending Anderson High School, where he was arrested Friday.
Parents were shocked by the allegations.
"I imagine it was felt throughout the whole building here," said grandparent Susie Slate. "I just think that this is a good school system. There's good kids in this school. There's troubled kids everywhere, and we just have to work beyond it."
A plea of not guilty was entered on Perez's behalf Tuesday. He was being held at the Madison County Jail.
"He'll be facing a trial in this community, and he will not be going home before that occurs," said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.