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No evidence of sexual assault at detention center, report says

Texas center had been at center of sexual misconduct allegations

Guards at an immigration detention center near San Antonio have been cleared of engaging in sexual misconduct with detainees following an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to the Houston Chronicle. The employees had been accused in October of sexually assaulting women detained at the facility in exchange for help with their immigration files. The investigation found no evidence to back up any of the allegations.

Allegations of misconduct

The investigation into the center in Karnes City was begun following a report by one detainee who had heard about sexual misconduct at the detention center. Guards at the facility were accused of leading the detainees to a laundry room at night where they were allegedly sexually assaulted.

The guards were accused of promising detainees assistance with their immigration files in exchange for sex. Some guards also allegedly provided financial assistance to detainees, while in one case a detainee was said to have became pregnant by a guard, according to the New York Times.

No evidence of assault

The report by the DHS found no evidence to back up any of the allegations, however. All of the women interviewed by investigators denied they had sex with the guards and the DHS was unable to identify a victim of any alleged misconduct. The original allegations had been made by a person with only "second-hand" knowledge of the supposed events.

Additionally, the woman who allegedly became pregnant because of the misconduct voluntarily submitted to a pregnancy test, which test proved that she was not actually present. Investigators also looked at video surveillance tapes and found no recording of any detainee being led to the laundry room at night. Finally, the DHS report said there was no evidence that guards at the facility made deposits into the detainees' commissary accounts or offered any other sort of financial reward for sex.

Sexual assault allegations

Sexual assault allegations are extremely serious and must be treated as such whenever anybody is facing them. The mere accusation of a sexual offense is often sufficient to ruin a person's reputation and career, while a conviction can result in prison time, a criminal record, and possibly being registered as a sex offender. Such punishments can haunt a person for the rest of his life, making it difficult to find work, return to school, or maintain an adequate standard of living.

When facing allegations of sexual assault, it is vital to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney who can provide compassionate and diligent counsel to defendants is often essential to making sure those defendants' rights and interests are upheld by the criminal justice system.

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