Two more women accuse guard of sexual misconduct at immigration lockup


Highlights

Two women are accusing a guard at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor of sexual misconduct.

The accusations come after another woman accused the same guard of sexual assault earlier this month.

The three women were at the detention center accused of living in the country illegally.

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.



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