TAYLOR, Texas -- For the last six months we've been following the story of Laura Monterrosa. Last year, the Salvadorian asylum-seeker claimed a guard sexually assaulted her while detained at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor.
Monterrosa said she made multiple complaints to ICE about the sexual assault, but nothing was done. She said when her health started to decline she asked for help, but got none.
"I lived a nightmare in that detention center," Monterrosa said. "Your rights are not being respected and your voice is not heard in that place."
Monterrosa said her voice was heard by Grassroots Leadership. For months, members of the advocacy group worked to get her message out. They demanded action from authorities and Monterrosa be released. After about 10 months of being detained, Monterrosa was released on March 16. ICE officials said deportation officers released Monterrosa from custody on an "order of supervision" under ICE's "Alternatives to Detention Program."
"If it wasn't for Grassroots Leadership, all their support, all the organizations that were supporting me in the community that would have been impossible," Monterrosa said. "I'm living a different life. I'm receiving a dignified treatment. I'm receiving all the support that I need."
Now that she's been released from the detention center, Monterrosa believes there's still a lot of work to be done.
"My goal is to fight for all women and not only women, but also for men that are in the detention centers," Monterrosa said. "My goal is for all the detention centers to be closed because it's not a dignified place to be."
At one point the FBI was investigating Monterrosa's claims, but a spokesperson could not comment on the investigation Monday. Instead, the FBI referred KVUE to the Department of Justice, which also declined to comment.
ICE officials said Monterrosa is required to check in at their office in person on a weekly basis.