Emma Lopez, a young wife and mother says she was raped by a jailer in Harris County jail after a arrest related to possession of of marijuana.
Her nightmare began on March 1 around 2 p.m. when she was driving home on Mason Road. This is where a Katy ISD police officer pulled her over for speeding, just a few blocks from her home. After the stop the officer said he smelled cannabis in her car, she admitted to having a small amount and she was placed undefr arrest and jailed.
Though marijuana is legal in many states, Texas laws still criminalize this substance and it is a arrestable and jail-able offence. Lopez had stated that she did use cannabis for medical purposes, to help control seizures that she suffers from. Cannabis is known to relieve seizures in many patients yet laws in Texas have not moved into the modern era where cannabis is widely used to treat many medical illnesses without the adverse side effects encountered when using pharmaceutical treatments.
Upon arrival at Harris County jail Lopez was placed in a holding cell by herself, later a jailer entered the cell, handcuffed Lopez and raped her. After the assault Lopez notified female jailers at this facility, yet her pleas for help were ignored, she was not offered medical treatment, or help as she was processed through the Harris County failed system of justice. Upon release Lopez was examined at a hospital and a rape kit was collected. A Harris County Sheriff’s investigator was then called.
A statement released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the investigation: “The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an allegation that a female jail inmate was sexually assaulted by an employee inside the Harris County Jail in early March. Investigators have interviewed the victim, reviewed video recordings from inside the jail, and are taking all other necessary steps to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted. The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed at this time. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office takes these allegations seriously, and we are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all inmates entrusted in our care,” the statement said.
This is just one of many such incidents that have occurred at the Harris County Jail.