Williamson county sheriffs office

Nov 16, 2017
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ShadowProof

Woman Held at Private Immigrant Detention Center Alleges Sexual Assault by Guard

"Twenty-three year old Laura Monterrosa is currently detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility operated by CoreCivic, a major private prison company that was once known as Corrections Corporation of America. Hutto holds roughly 500 women, nearly all of whom were detained after fleeing violence in their home countries and seeking asylum in the United States.

... According to Grassroots Leadership, Williamson County Sheriff’s deputies interviewed Monterrosa about these claims with ICE officials present. 'Despite bravely recounting her experiences to the deputies, she was treated like she was the suspect,' they wrote. 'Throughout the interview, [Monterrosa] was treated with suspicion, disrespect, and deputies dismissed her testimony.'

The group noted law enforcement was made aware of two witnesses to her assault, which means they can 'start their investigation immediately, if they are truly interested in justice for [Monterrosa].'" Read more about Woman Held at Private Immigrant Detention Center Alleges Sexual Assault by Guard

Nov 17, 2017
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Austin Chronicle

More Trouble at T. Don Hutto

"When members of Grassroots Leader­ship met with undocumented detainee Laura Monterrosa on one of their recent routine visits to the T. Don Hutto Resi­den­tial Center in Taylor to monitor human rights abuses, she initially stayed silent about the alleged abuse she was facing. She told me through an interpreter on Tuesday that a pending asylum case, and memories of those in her shoes who faced retaliation for speaking out – in the form of deportation threats or transfers to another facility – kept the 23-year-old detainee from sharing her story.

But then an anonymous caller informed CoreCivic, the private prison company that operates the all-women detention facility, that Monterrosa was being sexually assaulted by a guard. She then broke her silence and confided to Grassroots in early Nov­em­ber, penning a letter that describes a pattern of abuse since June...

Grassroots Leadership is currently calling on Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody to launch a transparent investigation into the alleged abuses. 'Anything less than a full investigation is really concerning,' said Casini. WCSO spokesperson Patricia Gutierrez declined to comment on the potential of that investigation." Read more about More Trouble at T. Don Hutto

Nov 9, 2017
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The Independent

Asylum seeker in private immigration prison writes plea for help as she accuses guard of repeated sexual assault

"'In this place, we don’t have rights, only duties,' the woman, whose identity is being withheld by The Independent for privacy concerns, wrote in a letter to Grassroots Leadership, an immigration advocacy group in Austin. 'We are not criminals, we only want to protect our lives, we can’t stand any more torture or threats.'

'She was really scared that the guard would have some sort of influence over her case, and the guard made threats toward her saying the nobody would believe her if she said anything about it,' Claudia Munoz, the immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership in Austin, said." Read more about Asylum seeker in private immigration prison writes plea for help as she accuses guard of repeated sexual assault

Nov 9, 2017
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Spectrum News

Letter Details Sexual Assault at T. Don Hutto Residential Center

"The non-profit organization, Grassroots Leadership, received a letter detailing sexual assaults against two women at the T. Don Hutto Residential center.

According to a press release, Laura Monterrosa sent the letter, from inside the center, describing her ongoing sexual assault by a female guard. She also wrote about another woman who was abused by two other guards.

'Speaking out about sexual abuse perpetrated by a guard while still detained takes incredible courage,' said Bethany Carson, immigration researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership. 'As ICE has proven incapable of taking reports of abuse seriously, the least the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office can do is immediately launch a just and transparent investigation into reports of sexual abuse by guards at Hutto.'" Read more about Letter Details Sexual Assault at T. Don Hutto Residential Center

What the hell is going on inside the Hutto detention center?

A letter from inside a controversial detention center contains new reports of sexual assault and retaliation against women detained in an immigrant detention center near Austin. The T. Don Hutto detention center, which imprisons asylum-seeking women, has been at the center of sexual assault scandals before.  One former guard was even incarcerated for multiple assaults.

Now, a letter sent by L.M. (the woman’s initials) from inside the Hutto detention center describes her and others’ experiences of sexual assault and retaliation and names two guards as perpetrators. The facility in Taylor, Texas, is operated for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by the private prison company commonly known as Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, (which prefers to be called by its new corporate identity “CoreCivic” to obscure their three-decades long history). Guards at the facility are employees of the private prison company.

The letter describes a pattern of sexual assault that L.M. has endured since June. She writes that a female guard forced her into sexual acts against her will. “She harassed me, telling me threatening words and forcing me to have unwanted relations with her, which I did not want, but I had to do what she wanted,” she described. “She looked for or took advantage of every moment she could to touch my breasts or my legs, she knew where and when she did it, I don't remember dates because there are many. She worked in the recreation area and what she did with me she did with other residents.” Read more about What the hell is going on inside the Hutto detention center?

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