Huntsville - Usually you never see a sexual assault
victim because their identities are protected, but Nicole Truelove wants
people to hear her story.
She said the state has not filed charges in
the month since she said an inmate sexually assaulted her in her
classroom inside the Ferguson Unit near Huntsville.
"I have done everything everyone has asked me to do for the last month and nothing has happened," Truelove said.
She said a four-time felon hid behind a door, attacked and raped her.
"(He) Grabbed me by my hair and slammed me up against the back of my classroom door," she said.
She said there were no prison guards or cameras in the area.
She said she was left alone in her classroom with a violent inmate.
She said it happened after she wrote him up for touching himself in class.
"In this case, they failed to protect a
teacher who has served Texas as a teacher for most of her adult life.
Not a single prison guard was present when Nicole was trapped alone, in a
room with a four-time felon and was then sexually assaulted by that
inmate," attorney David Lindsey said.
Truelove stood with her attorneys on Thursday in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Houston.
Her attorneys said she could file a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming the state did not protect her.
"Today I will stand up for change in the
prison education departments for the teachers that feel led to educate
inmates in hopes of giving them a chance at a new life upon their
release," she said.
In a statement, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said:
“There is an ongoing criminal case being
conducted by the TDCJ Office of Inspector General, and it would be
improper to discuss specifics of the case. The Texas Department of
Criminal Justice is also conducting an internal review which will take a
comprehensive look at the events surrounding the incident. The review
is ongoing. While correctional settings present unique challenges, the
department is committed to providing a safe work environment for all
employees. Correctional officers are assigned to educational areas
within TDCJ. An initial review determined that the staffing plan was
followed and three officers were assigned to the education building on
the day of the incident. Offender sexual misbehavior such as
masturbation is not tolerated. If the staff is made aware inappropriate
activity in a classroom or anywhere else, the department will take
immediate action. The 25-year-old perpetrator was interviewed by
investigators and has been transferred from the Ferguson Unit.”
"We're here today to ask the TDCJ what are
you going to do to protect all of the teachers, all of the employees,
especially the female employees against this kind of behavior?" civil
rights attorney Randall Kallinen said.