Tuesday’s Brazos County commission meeting was the first opportunity for members to discuss behind closed doors, a federal lawsuit filed by a jail inmate.
The lawyer representing the inmate issued a news release stating his client was sexually and physically assaulted in an area that according to a state report was not entered by detention officers for more than five hours.
Dallas attorney Dean Malone also cited the report from the Texas commission on jail standards that a computerized detainee check system was turned off while the assaults were happening.
Brazos County judge Duane Peters told WTAW News that he had no comment about the lawsuit and no comment about jail operations due to the lawsuit.
Peters said he had a brief conversation with sheriff Wayne Dicky about the lawsuit.
Following Tuesday’s county commission executive session, which included according to the agenda included an opportunity “to consult with attorney about pending or contemplated litigation and/or a settlement offer”, no action was taken on that issue.
Click below for comments from Duane Peters, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver on April 10, 2023.
News release from Dallas attorney Dean Malone:
On October 8, 2022, a minor pre-trial detainee was housed with three other minors in a certain portion of the Brazos County jail. The three other minors, over the course of several hours, assaulted, sexually assaulted, or facilitated assaulting or sexually assaulting the fourth minor. After an investigation of the horrific assaults, Brazos County admitted to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) that no jailer entered the area in which the assaults occurred for a period of over five hours. Further, Brazos County admitted that a computerized detainee check system was turned off while the assaults were happening.
The TCJS issued a notice of noncompliance to Brazos County. The TCJS notified Brazos County that it failed to comply with minimum jail standards, and that the County’s failure to initiate appropriate corrective action could result in a remedial order being issued and/or enforced. The TCJS indicated that Brazos County violated a jail standard that required jails to have an established procedure for documented, face-to-face observation of all detainees by jailers no less than at specified time intervals. The TCJS Notice of Noncompliance contained the statement: “Self-admission and an internal review
conducted by Brazos County revealed that during a serious incident that occurred on October 8, 2022, observation rounds were not conducted for over five (5) hours.” Brazos County had also received a TCJS notice of noncompliance just a few months before the assaults, as a result of an inspection occurring in August 2022.
Constitutional rights lawyer Dean Malone represents the assaulted minor and filed a lawsuit in federal court in Houston on his behalf. Mr. Malone said, “It is bad enough to see what happens to adults in jails across our state, when those required to protect pre-trial detainees fail to do so. It is beyond belief that a minor could be assaulted in such a horrific manner, over several hours, while jailers failed to conduct any security checks at all. This violated all known jail standards. If Brazos County had resolved issues with late detainee checks noted by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards just a few months before, these assaults would have never happened.”