The Austin Chronicle

Allegations Mount at T. Don Hutto

Two more women come forward to allege sexual abuse inside the detention facility

By Mary Tuma, December 1, 2017, News

Following Laura Monterrosa's allegations of sexual abuse at the T. Don Hutto Resi­den­tial Center in Taylor, two more women have come forward with similar stories. "Ana," who wishes to remain anonymous, fearing further retaliation, tells immigration rights activists at Grassroots Leadership that she was sexually harassed for months by a Hutto guard. After other guards noticed the harassment, and encouraged her to report it, Ana claims, she was transferred to the Laredo Detention Center. "CoreCivic and ICE do everything in their power to cover these types of situations and make sure everything stays internally," she told the nonprofit, referencing (in part) the private prison company that runs Hutto. "They think they are untouchable." Another woman has also written to Grassroots expressing worry over sexual assault by the same guard named by Ana. Grassroots is using the new allegations to push for Monterrosa's release. She remains detained at Hutto, where the guard she accused still works. Grassroots has called upon Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody to investigate her allegations. WCSO previously told the Chronicle it cannot confirm whether any investigation is active and did not respond to calls requesting further comment. "As more women come forward with their experiences of abuse following Laura's brave example, she faces increasing retaliation from CCA and ICE officials," said Bethany Carson with Grassroots. "She must be released immediately to pursue her complaint outside of detention where she can live in peace and recover from this new trauma she experienced."

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