TAYLOR, Texas – The FBI is now stepping into investigate the case of woman who reported being sexually assaulted at a Central Texas immigrant detention center.
According to the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, the woman claims a female guard at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center repeatedly touched her breasts and legs without consent.
The FBI said they are opening a civil rights investigation into the case of Laura Monterrosa. While victims of sexual assault are usually not named, Monterrosa is publicly sharing her story to encourage other victims to speak out.
The grassroots group said neither the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement agency nor the facility’s operator have responded to the woman's complaints.
Monterrosa said she was questioned by the center after they received an anonymous phone call about the assault. The officials asked her about her mental health and threatened her with solitary confinement.
Following Monterrosa’s claims, two more women have accused guards at the center for sexual misconduct. One of the women said a guard sexually harassed her.
"I was harassed every time I was around her, but I was scared of saying anything for fear that doing so may negatively impact my case," the inmate told Claudia Muñoz of the immigration rights group, Grassroots Leadership. "After other guards noticed the harassment, they encouraged me to file a report, but nothing happened to the guard and I was transferred in retaliation."
The center, located in Taylor, Texas, is operated for ICE by the private prison company, CoreCivic. Calls and emails to both CoreCivic and ICE haven't been returned.