- The US has deported a key witness in an ongoing sexual abuse investigation at an immigration and customs control detention center in El Paso. ProPublica and The Texas Tribune reported on Tuesday.
- The woman said she and others were routinely abused in security camera blind spots, the report said.
- The Inspector General of Homeland Security had banned the woman's deportation but changed course on Monday and the woman was sent to Mexico.
- According to the report, the woman said she came to the US to avoid persecution by a drug cartel after reporting a senior member of sexual assault to police.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
An immigrant woman who accused multiple guards of sexually abusing herself and other inmates at a Texas detention center was deported despite being a key witness in an investigation into her claim. The Texas Tribune and ProPublica reported.
The sockets first reported over the 35 year old woman's allegations last month. In a report on Tuesday, ProPublica said the alleged victim had been deported from El Paso to Mexico the day before. The woman did not name the sales outlets.
One of her lawyers, Linda Corchado, told outlets that the government's investigation cannot be taken seriously as authorities "have allowed their most powerful witness to be deported."
The woman said she and other inmates at the detention center – operated by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – have been regularly sexually assaulted in areas of the facility where surveillance cameras have blind spots, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica reported last month.
The outlets cited a complaint filed with the Inspectorate General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The woman said several guards "forcibly" kissed her and at least one touched her private parts, the report said, citing the complaint.
After the woman told her lawyers about the alleged abuse, two other women came forward with similar allegations, the outlets reported, citing the filing.
The Inspector General's DHS office initially ordered ICE not to deport the woman.
However, the office overturned its decision on Monday, saying the woman could be deported and further interviews could be held over the phone, the report said.
The woman said she first came to the US to avoid persecution by drug cartels in Mexico, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica reported. She said she was threatened by a senior cartel member after she went to the police on allegations of sexual assault.
When ProPublica and The Texas Tribune approached the Inspector General's DHS office for comment, they were told that the investigation was no longer their responsibility.
Instead, they were addressed to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice. The DOJ inspector general did not respond to the outlets' requests for comments.
Neither department immediately responded to Business Insider's requests for comments.
Separately, ICE is under investigation after a whistleblower accused doctors at an Irwin County, Georgia detention center of performing hysterectomies on immigrants allegedly detained without their consent.
The House Justice Department's Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee is investigating the whistleblower complaint.
Lawyers for some of the imprisoned women named in the complaint say they identified the gynecologist at the center of the allegations.