Asylum seeker alleging sexual assault at WilCo detention center freed

News
t don hutto detention center

An asylum seeker who says a guard sexually assaulted her while she was in a Williamson County immigration detention facility has been released according to Grassroots Leadership — a group supporting her.

The group said Laura Monterrosa was released from detention at the Don T. Hutto facility on Friday evening after months of protesting and campaigning. 

Monterrosa has been very vocal in speaking out about abuse that she alleges to have faced by a female guard at the facility since June 2017. 

The organization alleges that Monterrosa’s outspokenness did not come without consequences.

“Despite facing retaliation inside, including solitary confinement, Laura showed incredible courage in speaking out to tell her story,” the group said in a statement.

Monterrosa came to the United States in May 2017 as she escaped violence from her native country — El Salvador. Her request for asylum was denied by the immigration court system but she appealed the decision. 

Last month, in a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S Reps. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, asked them to investigate how ICE handles sex assault cases in Texas immigration detention facilities. There were 44 other members of Congress who also co-signed the letter. 

The T. Don Hutto facility originally held immigrant families when it opened in 2006. But that led to a federal lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union saying the facility provided sub-standard conditions for the children. The ACLU settled the lawsuit and in 2009, federal officials decided to stop holding children in the facility. Since then, it has housed only women and has more than 500 beds. It is a “medium security” facility.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

Trending Stories

Don't Miss