Rape victim put in jail after breakdown on witness stand

HOUSTON – It is hard to imagine a prosecutor putting a rape victim who is bipolar in jail. But that's exactly what Channel 2 Investigates uncovered in a two-part series.

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After a rape victim named Jenny had an obvious mental breakdown while testifying against her attacker, Harris County prosecutors decided the best way to make sure she'd return to complete her testimony was to lock her up in the Harris County Jail.

Leticia Manzano counsels rape survivors at the Houston Area Women's Center. She admits she doesn't understand how Jenny got locked up, but said the decision is surprising.

"I've never heard of something like this happening," Manzano said.

Channel 2 Investigator Jace Larson asked if Manzano worried other rape survivors would be afraid to come forward after learning about the DA's action.

"I'm always worried about sex assault victims not wanting to come forward," she said.
           
Former prosecutor Kim Ogg, who is running against Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson in November, wants Anderson to call for an investigation. Ogg said there must have been another way to handle the situation.

"Putting a witness in jail on a material witness bond is highly irregular and reserved for the worst of the worst witnesses, maybe gang cases," Ogg said. "They can be protected by placing them in a hotel, you can place them with family, you can keep in contact."