Harris County sergeant brutally attacked and sexually assaulted by inmate, sheriff's office says

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Harris County sergeant sexually assaulted by inmate: sheriff's office
An investigation is underway into the physical and sexual assault of a female sergeant by a Harris County jail inmate, according to authorities.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A female sergeant remains hospitalized after she was beaten and sexually assaulted inside her office at the Harris County jail Monday afternoon.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, it happened at 2 p.m. in the Harris County jail on 1200 Baker Street. The sergeant reported being assaulted by a 27-year-old inmate, according to the sheriff's office.

She went to the jail clinic and was later taken to a hospital for further medical care and support services.

"We had one of our employee representatives go down to the hospital and he said it's the worst beating he's ever seen in his 46-year career," said David Cuevas, president of the Harris County Deputies' Organization. "It's shaken our agency to the core."

Cuevas is asking the public to pray for the officer's recovery.

ABC13 sources identified the suspect as 27-year-old Jeremiah Williams, who was already in the Harris County jail on charges of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault from two attacks on Sept. 8, 2020. The attacks happened within minutes of each other at a west Harris County park.

In one attack, deputies said Williams punched a 45-year-old jogger in the face and body before sexually assaulting her. Minutes later, Williams allegedly ran up behind a 27-year-old jogger and tackled her to the ground. She was able to escape.

SEE ALSO: Man charged with attacking 2 female joggers in west Harris County

"The brutal attack of our Sheriff's Office teammate warrants a thorough and swift investigation," said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. "Uncovering all the relevant facts related to this alleged assault is a top priority as we seek answers and justice. All our brave employees deserve to feel safe, and we will do everything to protect them. Our team's immediate focus is offering a range of full support to our team member."

Sources told ABC13 Williams was returning to his cell without an escort when he attacked the victim in her office on the fifth floor. A crime scene unit and detectives' cars were parked outside the jail for hours afterward.

The sergeant's violent assault comes a month after 19-year Fred Harris, a teen with special needs, was beaten and stabbed inside the jail. He later died at a hospital. Fellow inmate, Michael Ownby, a man twice Harris' size, has been charged with murder.

In September, the deputies' organization sued the county alleging unsafe jail conditions and understaffing.

"There's not enough people in that jail. I keep saying that. I keep warning them. I keep telling them and they don't listen," said David Batton, attorney for the deputies' organization.

In addition to the criminal investigation, an internal review will be conducted, the sheriff's office said.

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