A police officer in La Joya, Texas sexually assaulted an inmate in her cell for hours after her arrest, and his bosses offered her a taco instead of medical help after they saw the video, claims the woman in a new lawsuit.
The $70 million suit was filed on May 27 of this year, two years almost to the day after the alleged rape. Complex got a look at the lawsuit, which names the attacker, Felipe Santiago Peralez, eight of his current or former bosses and co-workers, the City Administrator, and the city itself.
The woman, who is remaining pseudonymous, was arrested for a misdemeanor probation violation. While she was in her cell, she claims, Peralez demanded she move close to the bars, saying he would "make things right for her if she wanted to use the phone."
What followed, the suit says, was an "all-night invasion" of "brutal, sadistic, and invasive acts," even while Peralez insisted on continually talking about his wife and child. When the woman appealed to Peralez to stop because the assault might be caught on video, he reportedly responded, "There are no cameras and no one can hear you... La Joya is so poor, they have no cameras."
He was wrong about this, as the attack was indeed caught on video. Lieutenant Ramon Gonzalez viewed it the following day. According to the suit, Gonzalez "questioned plaintiff about the incident from the night before, obtained her statement, offered her a taco, declined her request for medical attention and released her to Penitas Police Officer Elizabeth Garza without offering her medical attention or counseling."
The lawsuit claims that Garza then threatened the victim in order to get her to keep quiet. "Officer Garza advised her that she should forget all about the incident and go on with her life," it reads, "because 'people come up missing all the time in the valley.'"
The La Joya Police Department did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.