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WilCo group demands action from county commissioners on sex assault investigation

Laura Monterrosa, an undocumented immigrant woman detained at T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, who reported she was sexually assaulted by a guard has been released, according to Grassroots Leadership.
Credit: KVUE
Williamson County

A group called Grassroots Leadership demanded the release of an undocumented immigrant woman detained at T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor.

Grassroots Leadership said Laura Monterrosa has been at the detention center since May 2017.

Last November, Monterrosa reported she was sexually assaulted by a guard. ICE officials told KVUE they found her claim to be unsubstantiated.

ICE provided the following statement to KVUE in Dec. 2017:

"The ICE Office of Professional and Responsibility (OPR) with the assistance of the Williamson County Sherriff's Department found the allegations made by a woman from El Salvador who is currently detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center to be unsubstantiated. ICE and Williamson Sheriff's Department concluded that the information provided by the detainee could not be corroborated and the case lacked evidence to pursue any further action. ICE is committed to ensuring all individuals in our custody are treated in a safe, secure and humane manner."

Grassroots Leadership members said the county is liable for the abuses that are happening to Monterrosa and should intercede with ICE for her release.

"The county is a party to the contract, along with ICE and CoreCivic for the T. Don Hutto Detention Center," Grassroots Leadership member Bethany Carson said. "They are liable for any abuses that happens as a party to the contract."

County Judge Dan A. Gattis gave this statement Tuesday:

"I have spoken with Sheriff Chody regarding this issue, and he has been in touch with the FBI, who is investigating. At this time, the FBI is the appropriate law enforcement authority to investigate this situation."

The FBI is now investigating the case, and KVUE reached out to the bureau. An FBI representative gave the following statement in Dec. 2017 regarding the case:

"The San Antonio FBI Field Office, Austin Resident Agency Office and the Civil Rights Division have opened a civil rights investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a detainee by a correctional officer at T. Don Hutto Detention Center. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time."

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