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Court appearance for T. Don Hutto's accused groping guard

A former guard at Corrections Corporation of America's T. Don Hutto detention center, Donald Charles Dunn, who was accused of multiple charges of groping female prison inmates had his first court appearance Wednesday morning. The Williamson County chief criminal prosecutor stated that this appearance will be some pretrial housekeeping to make sure Dunn has a lawyer lined up. Dunn faces multiple misdemeanor charges for his misconduct while acting as a guard in CCA's T. Don Hutto immigrant detention facility.  ("Accused groper has his first court date Wednesday," Brad Stutzman, Round Rock Reader, September 6, 2010)

...Dunn is charged with five separate misdemeanors in Williamson County, relating to five separate female victims. It is also alleged Dunn victimized three women in Travis County...
...During an Aug. 20 news conference the day after Dunn's arrest in Austin, Williamson County Sheriff's Sgt. John Foster said Dunn is charged in Williamson County with three counts of official oppression and two counts of unlawful restraint. He has supposedly confessed to the crimes.
"He told us how he carried this out and the victims verified it," Foster said. Each of the five charges against Dunn is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

According to a sheriff's office news release, victims told Williamson County and federal authorities "that they were inappropriately touched outside of their clothing on their breast, vaginal or buttocks areas." The gropings allegedly occurred while Dunn was driving the women from T. Don Hutto to the airport or bus station in Austin, after they had bonded out of the facility...
...The alleged Williamson County gropings supposedly happened near a convenience store in the Coupland area - off FM 973, which is a road running between Taylor and Austin. Victims told investigators Dunn would frisk them - sometimes when they were being transported alone and sometimes in groups, Foster said, adding frisking was not part of CCA's standard transport procedure.

The crimes Dunn is accused of committing first came to light in May, when one of the women made an outcry to an employee at Austin-Bergstrom. The airport employee alerted the Austin Police Department, which in turn notified the sheriff's office May 11.

Foster said CCA policy calls for two employees - not just one - to transport women, and Dunn violated that policy.

It is not clear how Dunn allegedly circumvented CCA policy.

Dunn was subsequently fired from his job at T. Don Hutto and the facility's administrator, Evelyn Hernandez, has also lost her job, sources said.

The report states Dunn is charged with official oppression and two counts of restraint. Given the set of reported facts, it looks like CCA and/or Dunn could even face an additional lawsuit. The women allegedly abused could sue CCA for negligence, given that CCA's own policy is to have more than one person transporting women from the facility and their own guideline was ignored.

Whether or not these charges will be brought into court remains to be seen, but it's clear that CCA is concerned enough about the case that they've dismissed long-time Hutto head Evelyn Hernandez. 

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