Two Women Claim Texas Jailers Ran a 'Rape Camp' Behind Bars
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CN) - Texas jailers ran a "rape camp" where they "repeatedly raped and humiliated female inmates," and forced them to masturbate and sodomize male guards, and one another, two women claim in court.
J.A.S. and J.M.N. sued Live Oak County and its former jailers Vincent Aguilar, Israel Charles Jr. and Jaime E. Smith, in Federal Court.
All three guards were arrested in August 2010 and charged with sexual assault, the Beeville Bee-Picayune reported at the time. The newspaper did not identify the victims.
Smith and Aguilar are in Texas state prisons today, according to the complaint, which says defendant Charles is living in Bee County.
Live Oak is a sparsely settled county in south central Texas. Its seat is George West.
"Beginning sometime in 2007 to at least August of 2010 the Live Oak County Sheriff's office ran a 'rape camp' known as the Live Oak County Jail," the complaint states. "In this facility, numerous jailers, all employed by the Live Oak County Sheriff's Office, repeatedly raped and humiliated female inmates over an extended period of time. These forced acts of lasciviousness included, but are not limited to, forcing female inmates to repeatedly perform oral sex on male guards, forcing female inmates to repeatedly masturbate the male guards, the male guards masturbating in view of the female inmates, male guards forcing digital penetrative sex acts in the female inmates', forcing female inmates to engage in sexual sex acts with other female inmates, including but not limited to forcing female inmates to have oral sex with each other, among other things.
"In addition to the repeated sexual assaults, numerous female inmates were sexually harassed. Certain male guards would strip the female inmates of their clothing and provide only shaving cream to conceal their genitalia. Certain male guards would sometimes force the female inmates to shower in front of them while instructing them to shave their vaginas. In other instances, while detailing their degenerate sexual fantasies, the jailers would pin the girls against a wall, grope their persons, verbally berate them, digitally rape their vagina and/or anus, then force them to perform oral sex.
"In order to facilitate their carnal impulses, these guards would withhold food and water, engage in physical abuse, restrict privileges and verbally and emotionally abuse the women - even threaten to kill them in order to compel their compliance."
J.A.S. says she was arrested on marijuana possession charges in July 2010, and transferred to the Live Oak County Jail after a brief stay at the Jim Wells County Jail.
"Not long after she was transferred, she was approached by a jailer known to her only as 'Jesse,'" the complaint states. "He warned plaintiff to stay away from defendants Aguilar and Smith. Naively, she asked why and he emphasized, 'trust me, stay away from them. I can't tell you why, I'd lose my job.'
"Sometime later, while waiting at the facility nurses' station, defendant Aguilar approached plaintiff and touched her on her shoulder and back. The nurse on duty observed this happening and told defendant Aguilar to stop. In fact, the abuse was so widespread and pervasive that defendant Aguilar felt comfortable enough to ask Ms. Smith if he could touch her vagina, right in front of the jail nurse.
"Another incident occurred later involving both defendant Smith and defendant
Aguilar. Both men forcibly and inappropriately touched plaintiff. During the incident, defendant Aguilar kissed plaintiff and attempted to penetrate her. Only when plaintiff defended herself by slapping defendant Aguilar's face did he relent."
J.A.S. claims the guards knew where to take inmates to avoid having their sexual assaults recorded by the jail's "grossly ineffective" camera system.
During her pre-trial incarceration, the three guards had their way with her, she says.
"Defendants Aguilar, Smith and Charles all assaulted plaintiff in numerous ways
over the course of several incidents. As they told it to plaintiff, she 'belong[ed] to [them]' and was their 'sex slave or whatever they wanted her to be,'" the complaint states.
"Plaintiff was forced to perform various sexual acts on defendants Charles, Aguilar and Smith, including oral sex and manual stimulation - whatever time permitted for their amusement. These incidents also included their own lewd acts on themselves, including masturbation where plaintiff was forced to conceal their ejaculate by way of ingestion.
"These and similar acts occurred so frequently that plaintiff cannot account for the number of assaults she was forced to endure - during any given attack, there would be from one (1) to three (3) different guards present who were participating or watching plaintiff being denigrated.
"Finally, several incidents took place wherein plaintiff was forced to perform sexual acts on another female inmate, plaintiff [J.M.N.]. Specifically, one night defendants
Aguilar and Smith provided razors and shaving cream to plaintiffs. They made the women strip naked and told them to shave their pubic hair. Next they made the women put 'shaving cream bikinis" on each other as they looked on.
"Once that was accomplished, the women were directed to rinse off and that the guards would return. When defendants Aguilar and Smith returned [J.A.S.] and [J.M.N.] were told to give them 'a show.'
"The defendants made the women perform oral sex on each other, touch and grope each other, penetrate each other's vaginas with their fingers, all while the guards soaked it in, grinning and flicking their tongues out at the humiliated women. As if forcing these two women to perform pornographic sex acts on each other was not enough, defendants Aguilar and Smith then forced the women to stop and come to the door to touch their penises and allow the guards to grope and penetrate their persons.
"After defendants Aguilar and Smith concluded their session with [J.A.S.] and [J.M.N.], defendant Smith came back later that night and forced [J.A.S.] to perform oral sex on him.
"To make matters even more tragic, the charge of possession of a controlled substance, for which [J.A.S.] was being detained, was dismissed and the case was dropped upon her release from custody."
J.M.N. says she was booked into Live Oak County Jail in July 2010.
"Upon introduction with [J.M.N.], defendant Aguilar remarked that she 'look(ed) wild' and that he could not wait to (have sex with) her. He pinned her against a wall face first then rubbed up behind her, grabbing her breasts and breathing into her ear while rubbing his face along the nape of her neck. From that point forward, things only got worse ...
"Throughout her stay, [J.M.N.] was repeatedly sexually assaulted by defendants.
For the first several weeks these assaults were in the form of the guards placing their hands through the food slot in the cell door and forcing her to lower her pants and undergarments and then anally and vaginally penetrating her with their hands. They would also make [J.M.N.] show the guards her breasts, buttocks and/or vagina or the guards would withhold food, drink, essential hygiene items, threaten to harm her or take away privileges." (Parentheses and ellipsis in complaint.)
J.M.N. says the assaults escalated until the night the guards forced her to perform sex acts on J.A.S.
The women seek punitive damages for civil rights violations, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
They are represented by Ronald W. Armstrong II of San Antonio.