"The FBI picked up the investigation in December. According to Grassroots Leadership, 'Over the past four months, community advocates have witnessed ICE and CoreCivic’s retaliation tactics against Laura escalate from verbal aggression to threats of administrative discipline and indefinite periods of confinement. On Monday, ICE officials attempted to silence Laura by terrorizing her with threats of continuous isolation.'" [node:read-more:link]
"According to Grassroots Leadership, Monterrosa, who has health problems including stomach pain, was kept away from other detainees for about 60 hours last weekend.
'They were pressuring her to write a letter to them recanting her testimony but she has not done that. She is remaining strong and we’re out here showing her that we support her and we’re not going to stand for a victim of sexual abuse being intimidated in this way,' Carson said." [node:read-more:link]
"Meanwhile, local advocates say that Laura is facing punitive measures for coming forward. According to them, Laura says detention center officials have threatened to keep her in solitary confinement unless she retracts her allegations – a terrifying prospect for someone like Laura who, the advocates say, has attempted suicide in detention.
All the reasons #MeToo as a movement to raise awareness was urgently needed elsewhere are magnified in the sprawling network of jails holding more than 40,000 non-citizens, including Laura, at any time." [node:read-more:link]
“This should not be happening in America,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. “Here you have a woman who came forward to report rampant sexual abuse inside of a federal facility. Instead of protecting her and ensuring the abuse stops, ICE is now putting Laura in solitary confinement with the expressed intent of tearing her down so she will do as they say.” [node:read-more:link]
"Protesters gathered Wednesday morning outside the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor alleging a woman had been held in solitary confinement for refusing to recant her allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by a guard.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents placed El Salvadorian immigrant Laura Monterrosa in solitary confinement at the center for 60 hours from 11 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Monday, saying she would only be freed from solitary if she took back her story, said Cristina Parker, a spokeswoman for Grassroots Leadership." [node:read-more:link]
"A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a guard in a privately-run Texas immigration jail has been placed in solitary confinement in what advocates on her behalf say is part of a pattern of retaliation for going public with her allegations.
Laura Monterrosa, 23, was put in solitary confinement Friday night, and was told Monday that she would face repeated isolated until she publicly retracted her accusations of sexual abuse, according to advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.
'This is incredibly egregious that they are trying to silence a victim of sexual assault in this way,' Bethany Carson, an immigration policy and organising advocate with the group, told The Independent via phone on her way to the Hutto Detention Center to visit with Ms Monterrosa." [node:read-more:link]
"We know that there are thousands of men and women who are sexually abused in detention every single year and that usually, that results in less than 1 percent conviction rate and investigation rate for all of the cases. So for us, it's not just about Laura, it's about the larger systemic issue of sexual abuse and abuse of power that happens inside of detention centers," says Claudia Munoz, immigration programs director, Grassroots Leadership. [node:read-more:link]
"And in Texas, supporters of 23-year-old asylum seeker Laura Monterrosa say she was put in solitary confinement for 60 hours at the T. Don Hutto detention center outside Austin in order to pressure her to recant her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a guard. ICE says Monterrosa was under “medical observation.” But she later made a strange call to her lawyer from an unusual phone number. Grassroots Leadership shared a recording with Democracy Now!
Laura Monterrosa: “I wanted to call you, because I wanted to tell you that everything I had said was false, and I was forced to tell you that, because, if not, they were going to lock me again in that room, and I didn’t want to be locked again in that room.”
"After accusing a T. Don Hutto detention center guard of sexual abuse, immigrant detainee Laura Monterrosa was held in solitary confinement for 60 hours last weekend as an act of retaliation by ICE, according to advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, who say Monterrosa was told she would not be released until she publicly stated no sexual abuse occurred.
Since Monterrosa’s revelation last November, ICE and for-profit detention center managers CoreCivic have increased punishment tactics with discipline and verbal aggression. Monterrosa attempted to take her own life by ingesting 51 pain pills left on Jan. 11. 'I feel very desperate because I tried to report the abuse from ICE and facility officials, but they continue to psychologically abuse me through intimidation,' she said last month. 'I do not feel safe or secure. I am not receiving the medical treatment or help I need.' Last week, an ICE official identified as “Soto” demanded she call Grassroots’ Bethany Carson and tell her she would no longer work with them; and that if she did not recant her story of sexual abuse to the media, she would face solitary confinement indefinitely, the organization claims." [node:read-more:link]