Teacher raped by 4-time felon after class at Ferguson Unit, attorney says
HOUSTON – Usually you never see a sexual assault victim because their identities are protected, but Nicole Truelove wants people to hear her story.
She said the state has not filed charges in the month since she said an inmate sexually assaulted her in her classroom inside the Ferguson Unit near Huntsville.
"I have done everything everyone has asked me to do for the last month and nothing has happened," Truelove said.
She said a four-time felon hid behind a door, attacked and raped her.
"(He) Grabbed me by my hair and slammed me up against the back of my classroom door," she said.
She said there were no prison guards or cameras in the area.
She said she was left alone in her classroom with a violent inmate.
She said it happened after she wrote him up for touching himself in class.
"In this case, they failed to protect a teacher who has served Texas as a teacher for most of her adult life. Not a single prison guard was present when Nicole was trapped alone, in a room with a four-time felon and was then sexually assaulted by that inmate," attorney David Lindsey said.
Truelove stood with her attorneys on Thursday in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Houston.
Her attorneys said she could file a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming the state did not protect her.
"Today I will stand up for change in the prison education departments for the teachers that feel led to educate inmates in hopes of giving them a chance at a new life upon their release," she said.
In a statement, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said:
“There is an ongoing criminal case being conducted by the TDCJ Office of Inspector General, and it would be improper to discuss specifics of the case. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is also conducting an internal review which will take a comprehensive look at the events surrounding the incident. The review is ongoing. While correctional settings present unique challenges, the department is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees. Correctional officers are assigned to educational areas within TDCJ. An initial review determined that the staffing plan was followed and three officers were assigned to the education building on the day of the incident. Offender sexual misbehavior such as masturbation is not tolerated. If the staff is made aware inappropriate activity in a classroom or anywhere else, the department will take immediate action. The 25-year-old perpetrator was interviewed by investigators and has been transferred from the Ferguson Unit.”
"We're here today to ask the TDCJ what are you going to do to protect all of the teachers, all of the employees, especially the female employees against this kind of behavior?" civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen said.
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