Abused Hutto Detainee Gets Her Day in Court

Demonstrators gathered at the federal courthouse Downtown on Tuesday to support Laura Monterrosa (Photo by Jana Birchum)

An immigrant woman whose detainment at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor has drawn calls for her release from Austin City Council members and sparked a request for a congressional investigation into detention center sexual abuse had her day in court on Tuesday. A hearing Downtown before U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman that was ongoing as this issue went to press should decide if Laura Monterrosa will be granted immediate release – or, at the least, the medical attention she needs.

Laura Monterrosa currently detained at T. Don Hutto Residential Center. (Courtesy of Grassroots Leadership)

The case challenges ICE and its regional field officer Dan Bible as well as Hutto warden Charlotte Collins. In a 10-page filing, attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund argue Hutto unconstitutionally failed to grant Monterrosa medical care to address her severe mental health needs, worsened by alleged retaliation from the facility after she spoke out about the abuse. Monterrosa suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression; she sought to commit suicide in January and "remains at a high risk for suicide," according to attorneys, who say ICE and Hutto employees are guilty of "purposely misdiagnosing her condition, denying her adequate treatment and reasonable accommodations, and placing her in segregation and isolation." See next week's issue for more details.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mary Tuma
Lege Lines: Taking Aim at Planned Parenthood ... Again
Lege Lines: Taking Aim at Planned Parenthood ... Again
Senate committee advances bill targeting Downtown clinic

March 22, 2019

Lege Lines: Sen. José Menéndez Stands Up for Military Bases, and Against Trump
Lege Lines: Sen. José Menéndez Stands Up for Military Bases, and Against Trump
San Antonio Democrat introduces resolution to protect funds for Texas military being diverted to border wall construction

March 22, 2019

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle