Police: Donald Charles Dunn said he would tell the women he was…
Updated: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 3:49 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 09 Nov 2010, 9:04 AM CST
GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - A former guard at the T. Don Hutto immigrant detention facility in Taylor took a plea deal Tuesday and will serve about a year in jail, though he could get out early on good behavior.
Donald Dunn, 30, also received two years probation for two of the five misdemeanor charges related to groping five women he was supposed to be taking to airports and bus stations. Counseling and mental evaluations will also be conducted, and Dunn will not be allowed to have a private security license until his probation ends.
"For a misdemeanor, we usually monitor someone for two years. We're going to monitor this gentleman for a minimum of three, and if he messes up on probation, we'll still have a year of jail to give him and max him out on the fines," said prosecutor Dee Hobbs who handled the case for the Williamson County Attorney's Office.
The sentence came as no surprise to Dunn who represented himself and had been cooperating with the Williamson County Attorney's Office on the deal.
"He had a very quiet demeanor, and was very soft spoken," said Hobbs. "Rarely would look up, always kept his head down in almost a disgust of his actions."
In September, the former guard pleaded guilty to three charges of official oppression and two charges of unlawful restraint in connection with five victims police said were molested in Williamson County.
"Donald Dunn is a smart, conniving predator and we were fortunate just to get him off the street as soon as we could," said Sgt. John Foster, a detective with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.
Charges have not yet been filed in connection with three more victims Foster said were attacked in Travis County under similar circumstances. Dunn would start frisking them and then touch them inappropriately over their clothes. Two women told detectives they were taken to a location off Highway 290 in Travis County. One woman said she was taken to Dunn's Austin home.
"We have been communicating with the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute the cases federally," said Travis County Attorney David Escamilla.
The federal arm of the law can carry heavier punishment.
In Dunn's year of employment at the Taylor facility, he transported 72 people from the facility - where they were being bonded out - to airports or bus stations, so they could wait for their immigration hearings in locations near family or friends or employment.
Some 30 of the people he transported were women.
Williamson County officials have since tightened their grip over the facility being run by the Corrections Corporation of America after it was discovered during the investigation that Dunn was not supposed to be transporting those women alone - but that the facility was required, for the women's safety, to have two officers on board the vehicle with the detainees.
Since the charges against Dunn were first revealed, CCA fired former warden, Evelyn Hernandez.
CCA is a private, for-profit company that runs jail and detention facilities and has come under fire for cutting corners.
Investigators said Dunn admitted stopping the van during the early morning trips, at locations in Williamson and Travis counties, and touching the women inappropriately for his own "self gratification."
Dunn, a former resident supervisor at the facility and employee of Correction Corporation of America, told officers that on these trips, "he told the women he was going to 'frisk' them and then inappropriately touched their breasts, crotch and buttocks," according to a news release by the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.
"Mr. Dunn indicated to Detectives that he had done this to numerous other women while performing his duties as a transport officer," the release said.
Dunn told officers he had done this with several women, while he was transporting them late at night, and would stop at several locations in Williamson and Travis counties to abuse them on the way to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The women were being given the rides to the airport and bus stations as a courtesy while they were out on bond, awaiting immigration hearings.
The first report came on May 11 when Austin police told Williamson County Sheriff's deputies that a woman had alerted an airport official that she had been abused on the way to the airport from the facility in Taylor. That's when detectives met with Dunn and listened to his description of groping "numerous women" while doing his duties as a transport officer.
The investigation revealed that all of the possible victims of Dunn had been released on bond from the facility and were being transported to ABIA or bus station when the attacks occurred.
It was during these "courtesy transports" that Dunn would stop at different locations in the areas of both Travis and Williamson counties.
Three women said they'd been inappropriately touched. Two of those victims said they were taken against their will to a location near a convenience store, during which one woman said she thought she'd either be
killed or raped.