Texas ‘Rape Camp’: Female Inmates Sue Live Oak County Jail For Alleged Sexual Assault

 @jiillx
on June 17 2013 5:29 PM
Prison
Two women have filed a federal civil lawsuit citing Live Oak County Jail with running a brutal "rape camp." Reuters

Two women who served sentences at Live Oak County Jail in South Texas have filed a federal civil lawsuit charging prison guards with running a brutal “rape camp.” Although three of the jailers named in the suit were previously arrested on sexual assault charges, the plaintiffs are seeking damages for civil rights violations.

According to the Courthouse News Service, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of two anonymous female inmates identified only as J.A.S. and J.M.N. In the federal court documents the two women detail horrendous conditions that allegedly took place for three years, between 2007 and 2010. During that time period, the women accuse Live Oak prison guards Vincent Aguilar, Israel Charles Jr. and Jaime E. Smith of sexually harassing them and other female prisoners, and forcing them to perform lude and sexual acts on guards, each other and on themselves.

The two plaintiffs write in the complaint that male guards used methods of coercing them into sex that included physical abuse, threatening to revoke privileges, and denying them food and other essential items. "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,” the complaint states.

The complaint goes on to detail the gruesome details of the sexual assaults and degrading behavior that was allegedly widespread within the jail. The complaint lists the guards’ offenses as including “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.”

According to the suit, the female prisoners were further degraded by acts like being forced to shower nude in front of guards, spray themselves with “shaving cream bikinis” and shave each others’ genitals. Plaintiff J.A.S., who says in the suit that she was arrested in 2010 on charges of marijuana possession, claims that she was warned to stay away from two of the defendants, Vincent Aguilar and Jaime E. Smith, by a fellow prison guard shortly after she was transferred to the jail. According to the complaint, J.A.S. asked the guard what he meant and he responded, “I can’t tell you why, I’d lose my job.”

According to the Beevile Bee-Picayune, Aguilar, Charles and Smith were arrested in 2010 and placed on administrative leave. According to Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby, law enforcement officials were notified when one of the inmates told staff that she had been assaulted and needed to be seen by a doctor. When the Sherriff’s Office looked into the matter they found video evidence of one of the jailers sitting on the floor and leaning his arm into the food hatch of one of the female inmates’ cells. When questioned about the incident all three of the jailers reportedly turned themselves in.

“Even if the females’ actions were consensual, the jailers’ actions would still be considered a state jail felony,” Busby said.

Ronald W. Armstrong II, a San Antonio-based attorney, represents both of the defendants.

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