Texas Rangers investigating a claim of inmate-jailer relationship inside Liberty County Jail

September 19, 2012 4:16:33 AM PDT
The Texas Rangers are investigating a claim of inappropriate behavior inside the Liberty County Jail. And now we're talking to a woman who says what's happening in the jail has to stop.

The allegations are of a sexual nature. As Texas Rangers investigate, we know there is a personnel shakeup at the Liberty County Jail. One warden is out and there is a new one -- a female -- now on the job. We are not identifying the accuser because she says she's a victim of sexual assault.

"It's his integrity that's the issue," the woman said.

When the 32-year-old woman went to the Liberty County Jail this time last year for not paying child support, she was vulnerable, going through a divorce. The jail's chief of security, she says, zeroed in.

"He was like not all guys are the same, some of us are actually OK guys," she said.

She says the come-ons worked and soon it became intimate. She an inmate, he a jailer, it was a relationship on the inside.

"We ended up having sex a handful of times," she said.

It happened at least four times. According to a letter from her attorney, notifying Liberty County they plan to file a federal lawsuit citing civil rights violations. She says her jail sentence was cut short. She got special treatment and the jail warden was aware. Now looking back, she's not sure she had a choice.

"If I did not play along, then it could probably be pretty uncomfortable for me," the woman said.

Sources tell us the chief of security is no longer working at the jail. The Liberty County judge confirms the warden has been suspended without pay pending an investigation.

In an email, Liberty County attorney Wes Hinch tells Eyewitness News the allegations are very serious and merit a thorough investigation. He has asked the Texas Rangers to step in.

"He used his position to molest and sexually assault female inmates that are under his care," Attorney Paul Lavalle said.

Lavalle has estimated damages at $10 million.

"How do you get that number?" we asked Lavalle.

"The number is to get their attention. I think I have their attention," she said.

But there is concern about credibility. The alleged victim has a few mug shots and a few convictions, including one current charge for lying to a police officer about a carjacking.

"I don't think one has anything to do with the other," the alleged victim said.

And she and her attorney claim they just want to stop a predator.

"She was selected to be victimized because people think, 'Why would we believe her story?'" Lavalle said.

The Liberty County Jail is run by a private company called Community Education Centers out of New Jersey. A spokesman there would only say that the matter is under internal review.

The woman's attorney says he plans to file the lawsuit in a few weeks.

Load Comments