hutto detention center

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]

Nov 21, 2017
Austin American-Statesman

Two more women accuse guard of sexual misconduct at immigration lockup

"Two more women have accused guards at a Williamson County federal immigration detention center of sexual misconduct following another immigrant detainee’s recent accusation of being sexually assaulted at the Taylor facility.

The immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership on Tuesday announced that staff had spoken with one woman, accused of living in the country illegally and formerly housed at the T. Don Hutto detention center for women, who said a guard there had sexually harassed her.

The organization identified the woman only as Ana because she fears retaliation for speaking out. Ana told the organization that a female guard at the privately-operated facility 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." [node:read-more:link]

Nov 15, 2017
Austin American-Statesman

Inmate says guard assaulted her at Williamson County immigrant lockup

"An immigrant from El Salvador being held in an immigrant detention center in Williamson County is alleging that a guard sexually assaulted her several times over a span of months.

Laura Monterrosa made a report with the Williamson County sheriff’s office after authorities learned of possible assaults Nov. 3, according to the immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, which is assisting Monterrosa in her attempt to be granted asylum in the United States." [node:read-more:link]

Nov 22, 2017

Texas Detention Center Faces Allegations of Widespread Sexual Abuse—Again (Updated)

"More women have made public allegations of sexual abuse at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, after Laura Monterrosa came forward earlier this month with claims that a guard at the facility had sexually abused her over several months. Monterrosa continues to be detained at Hutto and says the guard is still employed at the facility.

Sofia Casini, the immigration programs coordinator at Grassroots Leadership, told Rewire what is happening inside of Hutto is an example of 'ongoing, persistent abuse of power.' 'You have to keep in mind that all of the women in Hutto are asylum seekers and many have experienced sexual assault. Not only is detention already inherently traumatizing, but now you have sexual assault survivors experiencing more abuse and being re-traumatized. These guards wield so much power over these women. It silences them, and it impacts their day-to-day emotional and psychological well-being,' Casini said." [node:read-more:link]

We demand the immediate release of Laura Monterrosa, victim of sexual abuse at the Hutto Detention Center

**Español abajo**

Yesterday, two women joined Laura Monterrosa in speaking out about sexual abuse at the Don T. Hutto Detention Center.  One of the women, Ana*,  said that she filed a report against the guard who harassed and in return, she was moved to Laredo as an act of retaliation.  Both, Laura and Ana’s abusers are still employed at Hutto and as a result, Laura is facing increased retaliation and alienation from CoreCivic officials. Laura’s decision to speak out could have a major impact for all women detained at Hutto, but for that to happen she needs your help.

TAKE ACTION: “I demand that Laura is released immediately, she is a victim and should not be punished for speaking out!”

Ayer, dos mujeres se unieron a Laura Monterrosa para hablar sobre el abuso sexual en el Centro de Detención Don T. Hutto. Una de las mujeres, Ana *, dijo que presentó un informe contra el guardia que hostigaba y, a cambio, la trasladaron a Laredo como un acto de represalia. Ambos, los abusadores de Laura y Ana todavía están empleados en Hutto y como resultado, Laura enfrenta una mayor represalia y alienación por parte de los funcionarios de CoreCivic. La decisión de Laura de hablar abiertamente podría tener un gran impacto para todas las mujeres detenidas en Hutto, pero para que eso suceda necesita su ayuda.

ACTÚE: "Exijo que Laura sea liberada inmediatamente, ¡ella es una víctima y no debería ser castigada por hablar!" [node:read-more:link]

Nov 16, 2017

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].'" [node:read-more:link]


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