Speaking with The Houston Chronicle, Emma Lopez-Pound says the incident happened when she was arrested for marijuana possession in March. She admitted to the unidentified officer that she used small amounts to cope with seizures, but was still taken into police custody.
Upon her arrival in the jail, she was placed in a holding cell alone until the guard came and handcuffed her to the wall and undressed her. “After he asked me to get up and put me up against the wall and handcuffed me, he pulled my pants down and pulled his pants down and I froze,” she said. “I asked him not to do it. He said, if I say anything, he would do it again, and I wouldn’t be able to say anything.” Despite no charges being filed due to investigators not receiving “adequate information” to identify a potential suspect, a rape kit was collected for Lopez-Pound. Although the mother believes if it wasn’t a guard who had done it, an arrest would’ve already been made.
The alleged incident occurred back on March 1; however, the memory from the events that day have proven to be quite haunting for the 26-year-old. “I feel like when I look at my body, it’s not mine,” Lopez-Pound said. “I don’t even like looking at me … I feel like I’m losing my mind.” She has been unable to hold down a job as a fitness instructor, regularly sees a psychiatrist, takes medication for potential HIV exposure and refuses to go outside alone.
On Friday (May 4) her attorney Mike Edwards, filed a six-count civil rights lawsuit in federal court in Houston. While the lawsuit does not name the alleged attacker, her attorney does believe she was victimized by false arrest, there was excessive force used as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress. She additionally filed against her arresting officer who patrols in the Katy Independent School District.
She reported the assault immediately. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has promised “swift, strong action” if the allegations are true and posted a statement to Twitter saying inmates need to feel safe.
Every inmate in our jail deserves to feel safe. I give my word that we will devote every necessary resource to investigate an allegation that a female inmate was sexually assaulted by an employee. We will take swift, strong action if the evidence supports it. #lesm #hounews
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) May 4, 2018