Las Vegas, NV — A courthouse sexual assault by a court officer is being alleged in a lawsuit filed against Clark County judicial system.
The whole scenario played out in front of the woman’s two-year-old daughter.
Monica Contreras, 28, was in family court with her daughter on a routine matter involving her divorce. Things got weird once she finished up her brief court appearance, however. As she was leaving the hearing room, court marshal Ron Fox apparently ordered her into another room for an unexplained drug search, at which point he allegedly groped her. “Contreras said Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claim.”
As you can see by the video embedded below, Contreras went backed into the courtroom and pleaded with the presiding judge for a female marshal to conduct the search. Her requests were ignored. During this ordeal, the judge played with Contreras’ daughter as if oblivious to what was going on in front of her (or perhaps just distracting the child) and didn’t order to the court officers to stop.
This Kafkaesque situation gets even worse. The marshal put her under arrest for “making false allegations against a police officer” but tells her they will let her go if she steps up to the microphone and recants on the record. Instead of recanting, Contreras then said “You put me in a room. You asked me to lift up my shirt without a witness.” The distraught woman was then put in handcuffs while her daughter asks another officer, “Sir, don’t take momma… leave her alone.”
The incident occurred in August 2011 but the highly disturbing video only recently surfaced.
A lawsuit against the county is now pending for this alleged misconduct. Evidently there are other assault allegations against court officers as well.
After a protracted internal affairs investigation prompted by the woman’s internal affairs complaint, the marshal was fired.
In addition to the Contreras civil rights lawsuit, however, the marshal himself has sued Clark County for wrongful termination.
Depending upon the jurisdiction, courthouse security is usually provided by sheriffs or marshals.
In a statement, the Clark County court administration said “Court personnel are prohibited from commenting on the video because it’s a personnel matter. When the actions of any district court employee are called into question, the court immediately responds by conducting a fair, thorough investigation and, upon completion, taking appropriate action.”