Father of jailed rape victim supports prosecutor's actions

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Father of jailed rape victims speaks
Father of jailed rape victim supports prosecutor's actions.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the father of a jailed rape victim has sided with prosecutors whose actions were called into a question in a television ad.

In an ad being run by Harris County District Attorney candidate Kim Ogg's campaign, a rape victim's mom says District Attorney Devon Anderson threw her daughter in jail.

LEARN MORE: Treatment of rape victim at center of DA race

In an ad being run by Harris County District Attorney candidate Kim Ogg's campaign, a rape victim's mom says District Attorney Devon Anderson threw her daughter in jail.

"I'd like to tell Devon Anderson jail is for rapists and other violent criminals. It's no place for innocent victims like my daughter," you can hear her saying in the ad.

In the ad, this mom claims her daughter, "Jenny," who is a mentally ill rape victim, was hauled off to jail after she had a mental breakdown on the witness stand in December.

"I was flabbergasted when I saw the commercial. When you're watching TV and you see pictures of your daughter and you listen to your ex describe an event that didn't line up," the father said.

He said he supports the DA's office's actions, adding a message of support for his daughter:

"Jenny, if you just so happen to ever see this, I love you, kid, and try not to get too mad at your father, but I'm so proud of you doing a great thing and helping to put a serious rapist away for two lifetimes. Remember that did a lot for you and help protect other women in the future."

Members of Anderson's staff also call into question the events described in Ogg's ad.

"She runs out in front of the judge. She said, 'I'm not doing this, I'm not coming back,'" says lead prosecutor Nick Socias.

According to Socias, she also ran into traffic that day in an apparent suicide attempt. She was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, treated, and then released to jail on a Material Witness Bond issued by the judge.

"Devon Anderson's office had her sent to jail. The same jail as her attacker. And Jenny was brutalized there," her mom says in the ad.

Not accurate, says Socias. He says this mom actually kicked her daughter out the night before she was set to testify. "Jenny" called him for help, and he drove to Cypress to find her. He did, and he put her up in a hotel room for the night.

"She said, 'I was smoking cigarettes, I can't smoke cigarettes in the house and threw me out,'" he tells Eyewitness News.

He and his attorney say emails between he and mom tell a different story than the ads.

"One of these emails shows Nick offering to release her to her mother and her not be in jail, if her mother could ensure she stay and come back for trial," Hardin explains. "The mother wasn't willing to do that."

In one email, she also told him she doesn't think releasing "Jenny" is a good idea. She preferred she go to the Harris County Psychiatric Center. Socias says he called there, and every other facility that houses mentally ill women, and there were no spots. So she stayed in jail for a month. She was supposed to go to the mental health unit, but somehow ended up in general population.

Ogg's spokesman Wayne Dolcefino says putting her in jail was a bad call.

"Our position is you don't jail a mentally ill rape victim ever. Ever. End of story," he says. "You're thinking about jailing a mentally ill rape victim, you don't do it. But if you're gonna do it, the boss should've been heavily involved in making that call."

Devon Anderson didn't know about it for months, but she's supported her prosecutor ever since. She posted a Facebook video Wednesday addressing the ads and her belief that he and the judge did what was best.

"Had he not asked the judge for help, 'Jenny' might well have killed herself, and the rapist may have raped again and again," Anderson says.

"Jenny" testified, and her rapist Keith Hendricks is now serving two life sentences.