TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) - A former employee of a federal immigration detention center hasbeen arrested after police say headmitted to groping several women he was supposed to betransporting to the airport after being released on bond.
Donald Charles Dunn, 30, a resident supervisor at the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor 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 advised that he didn’t do this for safetyconcerns but as self gratification," the release said. "Mr. Dunnindicated to Detectives that he had done this to numerous otherwomen while performing his duties as a transport officer."
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.
"So, I'm sick of the lack of oversight that got us here and I amdisgusted with the continued failure to adequately manage thisfacility," said Lisa Grabill with the Texas ACLU.
"The only reason we know about this is that one of these womensaid to an airport transportation person, this isn't supposed tohappen in this country is it? And the fact that question even hasto be asked is what I find so devastating about this situation,"said Graybill.
Graybill has been following the problems and criticism thefacility has had since they opened in 2006.
"Opposite sex transport officers are not supposed to be alonewith detainees, and that happened not once, not twice, butapparently as many as 10 times leaving these women vulnerable toabuse," she said.
"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 ofMr. Dunn 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 on Thursday around 5 p.m. in Austin and wasjailed on $35,000 bond. He faces three counts of officialoppression and two counts of unlawful restraint.
The investigation is still ongoing at this time. Anyone havinginformation about a victim or Mr. Dunn’s crimes is encouragedto call the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at512-943-1300 or the Immigration and Customs 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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