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Lawyer Of Rape Victim Housed In Harris County Jail Wants Independent Investigation

District Attorney Devon Anderson says her office didn’t commit any irregularities.

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Sean Buckley, the lawyer representing a rape victim who was housed at the Harris County Jail for several weeks, is asking District Attorney Devon Anderson to authorize an independent investigation of the incident, but the District Attorney says an independent investigation is not justified.

In an incident that started last December, the woman, known only as Jenny, was housed at the Harris County Jail because the prosecutor wanted to make sure she would testify against a serial rapist who assaulted her. The prosecutor concluded that housing her in the jail was the only viable option.

Jenny, who according to Buckley suffers from bipolar disorder with symptoms of schizophrenia, had experienced a mental break down when she was testifying against Keith Hendricks, who was ultimately convicted.

In a press conference held on Monday, Anderson explained that Jenny was taken to a local hospital after her break down and she was released 10 days later.

Anderson added that, at that point, the prosecutor concluded the only way to ensure Jenny would finish her testimony was taking her to the Harris County Jail because alternatives such as placing her with her family were not feasible.

However, Buckley told Houston Public Media that Jenny had her own apartment in another city, not Houston, and “she wanted to go home.”

Ultimately Jenny finished her testimony.

In July, Buckley filed a lawsuit against Harris County and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, as well as against a prosecutor and a jail guard.

He contends that housing Jenny in jail was illegal because she was not under subpoena and isn’t a Harris County resident.

Additionally, Buckley says Jenny didn’t receive the medications she needs while she was in the county jail.

In a letter sent to Anderson on Monday, Buckley also requested that the District Attorney appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the incident.

“I think in the interest of the appearance of propriety, the integrity of the judicial system and the justice system requires that a neutral party look at it,” Buckley said.

During her press conferenceAnderson said that an independent investigation is not justified.

“When we do that is when there is evidence that a member of my staff has committed a crime,” the District Attorney noted. “That is simply not the case here. We have a prosecutor who went to a judge and asked for a remedy. A prosecutor in court presented a set of facts and the judge ruled and granted the witness bond,” she  said in reference to the legal measure by which the prosecutor was able to ultimately house Jenny in the county jail.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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