Woman at Hutto immigration detention says guard sexually assaulted her


Laura Monterrosa, an immigrant held at the T. Don Hutto detention center, said a guard assaulted her.

Monterrosa fled El Salvador, seeking asylum from violence in her country.

The guard sexually assaulted Monterrosa several times over the course of months, she said.

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.

READ: 130 miles from Austin, immigration court decides fate of thousands

Monterrosa has met with officials from the sheriff’s office twice so far regarding sexual assaults she has said began in June and continued for months. According to a letter from Monterrosa, a female jailer at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor assaulted her and another woman.

Grassroots Leadership provided a copy of the letter with the guard’s name redacted.

“A woman named (redacted) 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,” Monterrosa’s letter said. “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 the dates because there are many.”

The Williamson County sheriff’s office confirmed it has received Monterrosa’s complaint but would not comment on whether it is investigating the allegations, spokeswoman Patricia Gutierrez said.

READ: How two ICE programs let sheriffs cash in on immigration crackdown

CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America, performs all operations at T. Don Hutto. The facility has been operated by the company since 1996 and houses female immigrants detained on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

It was the site of an alleged sexual assault in 2007, when a customs agent spotted a guard coming out of a woman’s cell at midnight. The FBI investigated the incident and found that no assault occurred, but the guard was fired over the incident.

Facility spokesman Gilbert Drab said the company’s contract requires it to refer all press inquiries to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda, in a statement, said the agency does not comment on pending investigations.

“Accusations of alleged unlawful conduct are investigated thoroughly and appropriate action is taken to ensure the safety and security of those involved and the others in ICE custody,” Pruneda said.

Monterrosa entered the U.S. in May and sought asylum to escape violence in her home country. The immigration court system denied her request and she has appealed, said Bethany Carson, immigration policy researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership.

Monterrosa said another inmate also tried to report an assault involving another guard, whom she also named in her complaint. That woman was quickly transferred to another facility, Carson said, leaving others with the impression that the woman would be deported because she had made the report.

“That is definitely the understood implication in the detention center,” said Carson, who spoke Wednesday with Monterrosa.

Both guards accused by Monterrosa remain employed at the detention center, Carson said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Dog recovers after attack by hawk in backyard
Dog recovers after attack by hawk in backyard

A dog in Massachusetts is on the mend after she was attacked in her backyard by a hawk. It's been a few days for Daisy and her owner Susan Nascimeno after the 10-year-old bichon frise was attacked by a hawk Monday afternoon while fenced in her East Freeport backyard.  "She was just covered in blood -- her chest, back, butt, everything was...
Texas man gets life in prison for beating, stomping girlfriend's baby
Texas man gets life in prison for beating, stomping girlfriend's baby

A Texas man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after his conviction for beating and stomping his girlfriend’s baby to death, KDFW reported. Joshua Beard and the child’s mother, Alexis Botello, are accused of burying the girl in Parker County. According to police, in 2014 Beard slammed 18-month old Tylea so hard onto a bed that...
Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say
Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say

A 15-year-old Kentucky girl who left school to leave with an unknown person has been found, WKYT reported Thursday. Amber Renae Wagers was found safe in Louisville, the Berea Police Department said in a Facebook post. Wagers, 15, walked out of Berea Community School around 10 a.m. Wednesday to leave with an unknown person, police said. Investigators...
James Shaw Jr. raises $170,000 for Waffle House shooting victims
James Shaw Jr. raises $170,000 for Waffle House shooting victims

James Shaw Jr., who disarmed a gunman who opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee on Sunday, has raised more than $170,000 in a fundraiser to help the victims’ families, CNN reported. Shaw, who wrestled a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter, launched a GoFundMe campaign that easily topped its $15,000 goal. Four...
Kim Jong Un steps over border, meets with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in
Kim Jong Un steps over border, meets with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in

In an electric moment, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped over the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Reuters reported Friday. Smiling and holding hands, the Korean leaders met for the first summit between the two nations in more than a decade.  It’s the first time since...
More Stories