Former ICE Detainee Sues Private Prison Corporation

By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

The woman was being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Houston Processing Center, which is owned and operated by CoreCivic. 

Her attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegal says on June first, 2018, the eve of her deportation to Mexico, the woman and two others women in custody were taken from their dorm room to an isolated area. They were then beaten and raped by three men, presumably guards.  They were put on a bus the following morning. Simpson Tuegal says her client was impregnated from the rape, and had a difficult delivery with complications.  "To some people, immigration may be a controversial issue.  But rape on the taxpayer dime is not."The baby was born last year and lives with her mother in rural Mexico.She says they're asking for damages that would compensate the woman for the failure to protect her.  "These companies are paid millions and millions and make billions of dollars from holding people that our government entrusts to keep.  They have not held up their end of the bargain."She believes the attackers were guards.  "That's something that only through a lawsuit are we going to get to the bottom of.  We have named other subcontractors and most of them are owned by CoreCivic, transportation contractors, food contractors who also have access to the facility.  What CoreCivic can't avoid is their responsibility from men who gained access to an all female section of their facility and were given the ability and the freedom to sexually assault our client and these two other women." The suit seeks one hundred million dollars. "I don't think that's a ridiculous number in light of the fact that this a company that makes billions off of US government contracts and causes a lot of harm to people in their care."In an email, CoreCivic says: "We have not been served with this complaint and as a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending litigation. More broadly, we are committed to the safety and dignity of every detainee entrusted to our care. We have a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. To ensure we are in full compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), all staff receive pre-service and in-service education and training, and all detainees receive PREA education and training beginning at initial reception and continuing while they are with us. Anyone can report an allegation or suspected incident of sexual abuse or harassment, including detainees, staff or third parties. There are multiple options to report allegations including (but not limited to) calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline, notifying a staff member either verbally or in writing, writing the facility warden, using the PREA hotline numbers posted in facilities and contacting CoreCivic's Ethics and Compliance hotline and website."