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.

“I was harassed every time I was around her, but I was scared of saying anything for fear that doing so may negatively impact my case,” Ana said, according to Grassroots Leadership. “After other guards noticed the harassment, they encouraged me to file a report, but nothing happened to the guard and I was transferred in retaliation.”

Ana is now being held in a detention center in Laredo, a signal that she will be deported soon, according to Grassroots Leadership.

Grassroots also said they received an anonymous letter from a woman they are identifying as Esmeralda currently housed at T. Don Hutto. She said the same guard has harassed her in the recreation area and said she no longer goes to the recreational area to avoid the guard.

Grassroots is not naming the guard, but the organization said she was one of two guards previously accused of sexually assaulting an immigrant from El Salvador currently being held at T. Don Hutto. That immigrant, Laura Monterrosa, came forward with the accusations earlier this month.

The Williamson County sheriff’s office has conducted interviews regarding Monterrosa’s report. The sheriff’s office had no updates on that situation on Tuesday, a spokeswoman said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America, to operate the detention center. ICE did not immediately have a response for the most recent accusations, but when contacted last week, the agency said it does not comment on pending investigations, according ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Preschool program benefits foster children
Preschool program benefits foster children

Students at Xplor Preschool at Circle C in Southwest Austin partnered with Carrying Hope to provide essentials to infants in need. From left, Madison Rasp, Helen Giarratani and Harmony Morgan, who are “junior counselors” for the school, fill backpacks with essential items they bought to create “Hope Packs” for Carrying Hope...
Abbott orders flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Billy Graham
Abbott orders flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Billy Graham

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas flags lowered to half-staff Wednesday in honor of iconic Christian evangelist Billy Graham, who died Wednesday at 99. Here’s Abbott’s statement on Graham: “The Rev. Billy Graham left an indelible mark on America and the world. His passion to serve God and share His love touched countless Texans over...
REVIEW: I tried Whole Foods’ viral sandwich
REVIEW: I tried Whole Foods’ viral sandwich

Whole Foods' answer to "But what about bacon?" is the TTLA: a vegan BLT, made with tempeh bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and vegan garlic aioli.  And it’s also, according to some, a life-changer.  The sandwich went viral after actress Tabitha Brown posted a video of herself literally singing its praises to Facebook in January...
Study: Austin indisputably the best! (among state capitals, at least)
Study: Austin indisputably the best! (among state capitals, at least)

Move over, Madison. Back off, Boise. Lump it, Lincoln. Who’s No. 1? That’s right, Austin is. Don’t you forget it. The new study by WalletHub, 2018’s Best State Capitals to Live In, might not be the most exclusive list — NYC, L.A., San Francisco and even other Texas rivals aren’t in the running — but the key...
Fire at North Austin Baby A’s caused $25,000 in damage
Fire at North Austin Baby A’s caused $25,000 in damage

Two firefighters received minor injuries Wednesday morning while fighting an electrical fire on the roof of Baby Acapulco in North Austin. Firefighters were called out to the restaurant in the 13600 block of North Interstate 35 around 4 a.m. and found a fire that appeared to be contained to a sign on the exterior of the building. Crews kept the fire...
More Stories