TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) - WilliamsonCounty authorities said Friday that eight victims had beenidentified in connection with a former transport officer at the T.Don Hutto immigration detention facility, who police say gropedseveral women he was supposed to be taking to airports and busstations.
No sexual assault charges have been filed, however -- althoughWilliamson County officials said they may be later on.
Currently, Donald Charles Dunn, 30, faces three charges ofofficial oppression and two charges of unlawful restraint inconnection with five victims police said were molested inWilliamson County.
Charges have not yet been filed in connection with three morevictims authorities said were attacked in Travis County.
President Obama and Congressional members have been briefed onthis case because of its association with the Immigration andCustoms Enforcement agency.
Nineteen women have been interviewed so far, from Texas toFlorida to Washington D.C., and another 11 still could be victims-- though they haven't been located. In his year of employment atthe Taylor facility, Dunn transported 72 people from the facility -where they were being bonded out -- to airports or bus stations, sothey could wait for their immigration hearings in locations nearfamily or friends or employment.
Thirty of the people he transported were women.
Williamson County officials said that they were tightening theirgrip over the facility being run by the Corrections Corporation ofAmerica after it was discovered during the investigation that Dunnwas not supposed to be transporting those women alone -- but thatthe facility was required, for the women's safety, to have twoofficers on board the vehicle with the detainees.
CCA is a private, for-profit company that runs jail anddetention facilities, and has come under fire for cuttingcorners.
Dunnwas arrested in Austin Thursday after police said
Dunn, a resident supervisor at the facility and employee ofCorrection Corporation of America, told officers that on thesetrips, "he told the women he was going to 'frisk' them and theninappropriately touched their breasts, crotch and buttocks,"according to a news release by the Williamson County Sheriff'sOffice.
"Mr. Dunn indicated to Detectives that he had done this tonumerous other women while performing his duties as a transportofficer," the release said.
Dunn told officers he had done this with several women, while hewas transporting them late at night, and would stop at severallocations in Williamson and Travis counties to abuse them on theway to Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
The women were being given the rides to the airport and busstations as a courtesy while they were out on bond, awaitingimmigration hearings.
Thefirst report came on May 11 when Austin police told WilliamsonCounty Sheriff's deputies that a woman had alerted an airportofficial that she had been abused on the way to the airport fromthe facility in Taylor. That's when detectives met with Dunn andlistened to his description of groping "numerous women" while doinghis duties as a transport officer.
"A large scale investigation into the current locations of otherpossible victims began immediately after Mr. Dunn’sinterview," the news release said. "Detectives from WilliamsonCounty and Immigration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement(Office of Professional Responsibility/San Antonio) set out to makecontact with several of the possible victims, who had locatedacross the country since bonding out of the facility.
"Mr. Dunn was subsequently terminated from his contractemployment with Correction Corporation of America when theallegation was first reported to authorities."
The investigation revealed that all of the possible victims ofDunn had been released on bond from the facility and were beingtransported to the Austin-Bergstrom Airport or bus station when theattacks occurred.
It was during these "courtesy transports" that Dunn would stopat different locations in the areas of both Travis and WilliamsonCounty.
Three women said they'd been inappropriately touched.Two ofthose victims said they were taken against their will to a locationnear a convenience store, during which one woman said she thoughtshe'd either be killed or raped.
"Several (other) women who were interviewed denied any contactwith Mr. Dunn," the statement read. "Some of those advised thatthey were transported in the daylight hours and or it was raining.Several women could not be located for questioning because of outof date addresses with Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
Dunn was arrested Thursday around 5 p.m. and posted bail on a$35,000 bond Friday.
The investigation is still ongoing at this time. Anyone havinginformation about a victim or Dunn’s crimes is encouraged tocall the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at (512) 943-1300or the Immigration andCustoms Enforcement Agency.
According to the news release:
The T. Don Hutto facility opened in May, 2006 as a family residential facility housing families while they awaited their immigration hearings or decisions The facility changed over to housing females in a separate area of the facility in February, 2008 and in September, 2009 the entire facility began housing only females. The facility is operated under an Immigration and Customs Intergovernmental Service Agreement with Williamson County. Williamson County contracts with Corrections Corporation of America for the facility's day-to-day operation. A new agreement with Williamson County became effective February 1, 2010. The facility employees 169 Correction Corporation of America Staff, 30 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Staff and 43 United States Public Health Services Staff.
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