HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- 13 Investigates has learned the female employees suing Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen and two employees are cooperating with an active FBI investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing, according to their attorney.
Cordt Akers, an attorney for the women, said his clients have provided 'information and documents' to the FBI as part of the probe that Akers tells 13 Investigates was launched after the lawsuit was filed in late May.
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It is unclear how far along the FBI probe is, but it changes the situation substantially. The FBI investigates potential crimes. Until now, it has been a civil lawsuit seeking monetary penalties against Rosen, his subordinates Chris Gore and Shane Rigdon, and Harris County. The existence of an FBI investigation could mean someone may be criminally charged and face prison time.
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Akers told 13 Investigates over the phone, "We are happy that what is going on in the Precinct 1 Human Trafficking Unit is no longer going unchecked." Akers declined an on-camera interview for both him and his clients.
It is the latest revelation in the ongoing allegations of civil rights violations and improper behavior within the Constable's Human Trafficking Unit.
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The lawsuit alleges young female Precinct 1 employees were 'handpicked for undercover operations' and subjected to 'bachelor-party' type behavior during undercover Human Trafficking stings. According to the lawsuit, the women were 'molested and traumatized by their intoxicated male commanding officers for their own sexual gratification' during the stings.
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Rosen has denied any wrongdoing or mismanagement. Ben Hall, a lawyer for Constable Rosen, told 13 Investigates Thursday afternoon he is not aware of any criminal investigation, adding "Whoever wants to investigate, let them investigate ... The facts are just not there."
In a statement after the lawsuit was filed on May 24, Rosen wrote:
"Upon conclusion of our internal investigation, our Administrative Disciplinary Committee found no violations of law or policy. When we began our proactive internal investigation, we immediately transferred leadership of the Human Trafficking Unit to another supervisor who still maintains oversight of that unit today.... I have a zero-tolerance stance against sexual assault and sexual harassment and would never allow a hostile work environment as alleged." The Constable called the lawsuit "an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Precinct One Constable's Office."
Per DOJ policy, the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
Representatives with the Harris County Attorney's Office had no comment.