Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Texas Corrections Guards Indicted for Felony Sexual Assault on Adolescent Detainees

The Shaquanda Cotton case brought sorely needed attention to other outrages in the Texas Youth Corrections system, now leading indictments of TYC guards on charges of felony sexual assault of adolescents who were in their charge.

Mike Ward of the Texas' Austin American Statesman reports:

Two former administrators at the West Texas youth lockup whose alleged attacks on incarcerated teen-aged boys ignited a statewide corruption scandal were indicted today on felony sexual assault charges.

Ray Brookins, 42, the former assistant superintendent of the West Texas State School, and John Paul Hernandez, 41, the school's former principal, were named by a Ward County grand jury in Monahans on 13 charges involving six students — who were ages 16 to 19 at the time of the alleged attacks.

If convicted, the men face a maximum 20 years in prison on each count, authorities said.

Investigators said Brookins, arrested by Texas Rangers at his apartment in Northeast Austin, was being held in the Travis County jail on $100,000 bail. Hernandez, arrested at his parents' home in Fort Stockton, was being held in lieu of $600,000 bail, officials said.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who assisted prosecutors from his office in presenting the case, hailed the indictments as a first step to justice in the headline-grabbing scandal.

"With today's indictments, the victims of sexual abuse at West Texas State School are a step closer to the justice they deserve," Abbott said in a statement. Calling the cases "very troubling," he pledged that his office will "continue working with state and local officials to aggressively pursue allegations of wrongdoing at Texas Youth Commission facilities."

The Eddie G. Griffin (BASG) blog and other Afrosphere blogs are determined to keep the pressure on the State of Texas to thoroughly review and reform the system that has condemned many Black youths to prison time exceeding their judge-made minimum sentences, while other detained adolescents were the targets of on-staff pedophiles whose sexual predation was ignored by the state and federal governments.

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