On December 27, a Bexar County detention officer allegedly forced a female inmate to have sex in the jail parking lot in a Sheriff’s Office van, according to news reports at Expressnews.com. 35-year-old Erick Montez has now been arrested and is facing termination.
Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said the department had obtained surveillance footage that appears to support the female inmate’s allegations. She also said that Montez confessed after questioning by investigators.
Pamerleau said that in his employment capacity, Montez was responsible for transporting inmates and overseeing a housing unit. She called the sexual assault a “disgrace,” saying Montez not only violated the inmate, but the public’s trust. Pamerleau said in a recent news conference that the termination process for Montez was underway.
Montez began working at the Bexar County detention facility in 2008, and according to the sheriff had no prior complaints or disciplinary action against him. He is charged with violation of the civil rights of a person in custody, and felony sexual assault. The criminal affidavit states that Montez “forcefully had sexual intercourse with her” while on duty.
The policy is that when a female inmate is transported, a female deputy is present; Pamerleau said she did not know how it came to pass that Montez was transporting a female inmate during overnight hours by himself.
In San Antonio, sexual assault is considered a second-degree felony punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and prison time of two to 20 years depending on the facts of the case.
Sexual assault is a serious offense in every state; the punishment an accused person may face if convicted varies according to the state in which the offense occurred, the offender’s criminal history, age of the victim, and more. In Michigan, sexual assault may leave the accused facing a life prison term if penetration occurs and the victim is a minor.
Under the Michigan Penal Code, sexual assault is punished by degree; in other words, the age of the alleged victim, whether penetration occurred, whether the perpetrator was a person in a position of authority, and other factors determine to what degree a person will be punished. The most serious charge is first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which can result in a life prison sentence.
A conviction for any sex crime may result in imprisonment for any number of years, up to life. For many who are found guilty, the most serious consequence is being known as a sex offender, and the requirement to register as such. This will impact employment and housing opportunities, and often results in being shunned by society. Regardless of the allegations against you, it is imperative to have your legal rights and future protected to the greatest extent possible. Work with an aggressive Michigan sex crimes lawyer who is on your side, and will fight on your behalf.