Williamson County Sheriff's Office

Dec 12, 2017

FBI Intervenes After Sexual Assault Allegations at Texas Immigrant Detention Center

“Laura wants justice and so far, it’s been delayed and denied,” Carson said. “What is happening to Laura is endemic of detention centers and almost impossible to completely eliminate unless we eliminate detention centers. A woman who spoke at Laura’s press conference was detained at Hutto seven years ago and said she saw inappropriate behavior from guards that was sexual in nature. There has been a trail of these incidents and most of them go unreported and this is why: they don’t get investigated and the women who come forward are shamed or transferred or otherwise punished. This is an extremely pervasive problem.” [node:read-more:link]

Dec 8, 2017
Austin Chronicle

T. Don Hutto Abuse Case Goes to FBI

"Outside the Williamson County Sheriff's Officeon Monday, Dec. 4, a group of activists held signs and criticized the department for its failure to transparently investigate alleged sexual abuse at T. Don Hutto immigration detention facility in Taylor. Last month, Laura Monterrosa accused a guard employed by private, for-profit detention operators CoreCivic of sexual abuse, and since then an outpouring of other women have stepped forward. And last weekend, according to Bethany Carson at Grassroots Leadership, a whistleblower inspired by Monterrosa confirmed pervasive issues of sexual abuse at Hutto and named two guards who have abused their power to the nonprofit, which has led the charge for justice for Monterrosa. 'This has been going on for a long time, since I was detained in 2009,' said Sulma Franco, a former detainee who's now an organizer with the Austin Sanctuary Network. 'The only thing that has changed is Laura's courage to speak up while she is still detained.'" [node:read-more:link]

Dec 7, 2017

Two More Women Come Forward About Sexual Harassment in Detention Center

"In the Williamson County federal immigration detention center, a privately owned facility, two more women have accused guards of sexually harassing them. Grassroots Leadership, an organization that works with communities across the nation to abolish for-profit private prisons, jails, and detention centers, spoke to a woman, identified only as Ana, about a female guard who repeatedly asked her about her sexuality, told her they were going to be together one day, and stared at her inappropriately in the facility’s recreational area.

Grassroots also said another woman identified as Esmeralda, currently at T. Don Hutto, claimed she no longer goes to the recreational area to avoid that same guard." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 5, 2017

Immigration Advocates Demand Answers After Sex Abuse Claims Surface Out of Texas Detention Center

"As people in different industries courageously share their stories, three women are drawing attention to the sexual abuse they have faced at an immigrant detention center in Texas. In a letter to immigration advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, Laura Monterrosa, a 23-year-old from El Salvador, detailed the abuse she endured at T. Don Hutto Residential Center. Immigration advocates in Austin are demanding answers from law enforcement about the allegations." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 4, 2017
The Patch

Chody Blasted For Inaction On Detention Site Sexual Abuse Claims

"On Monday morning, advocates gathered outside his office to denounce his agency's failure to conduct an investigation after outcries of sexual assault from the Hutto detention center where women have filed formal complaints. The gathering comprised community members, volunteers with Grassroots Leadership's Hutto Visitation Program, and immigrant advocates concerned by sexual assault in detention, according to organizers.

[...] 'Laura has a whole community behind her asking for release because we know that women who are victims of sexual abuse should be believed, not retaliated against,' Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership said." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 4, 2017

After sex abuse claims at T. Don Hutto detention facility, advocates want answers

"Grassroots Leadership, which works to end prison profiteering and reduce reliance on detention, claims the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, but failed to act after a sexual abuse allegation by detainee Laura Monterrosa. Last month, Monterrosa spoke out, saying a guard at the facility had been abusing her since June." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 4, 2017

WilCo group seeking answers from sheriff's office on sex assault investigation

"Laura Monterrosa first spoke out Nov. 9, according to Grassroots Leadership. She said a guard sexually abused her.

'Since the day that I talked to investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and gave them all of my evidence I have not heard anything back from them,' she said in a press release from Grassroots Leadership. 'I expected Williamson County to treat the investigation differently than ICE, but up until now, they’re acting the same. I am still here inside detention and the guard still works here. I need justice.'

'She told us that there was a guard in there who was making sexual harassment comments to her,' Grassroots Leadership spokesperson Claudia Munoz said. 'He was just saying inappropriate things like we'll be together when you get out of here and he'd touch her legs and breasts when she was in the recreation center in very strategic areas where there were no cameras."' [node:read-more:link]

Dec 4, 2017

FBI Investigating Detention Center Sexual Misconduct Claims

"Claudia Muñoz with the immigration rights advocacy group, Grassroots Leadership, says she has heard from several women who claim sexual misconduct by guards.

'We see an agency that is reckless, where there is no accountability,' she said. 'When there is an agency that can actually have accountability for them like Williamson County, they chose not to act and they take (ICE's) side."' [node:read-more:link]

Dec 4, 2017

Acusan de abuso sexual a personal del Centro de Detención de ICE en Hutto

Este lunes decenas de personas junto a activistas pro inmigrantes le exigieron respuestas al Alguacil del Condado Williamson, Robert Chody alegando que su oficina no ha tomado las riendas de la investigación en torno a las alegaciones de abuso sexual en el Centro de Detención T. Don Hutto en Taylor.

“Queremos saber cuál es el plan para proteger a las mujeres detenidas en Hutto y, en general, a todas las mujeres ya que ellos tienen la jurisdicción local de actuar”, indicó Claudia Muñoz, Directora de los Programas de Protección a los Inmigrantes de Grassroots Leadership. [node:read-more:link]


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