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Rape Victim Broke Down On Stand, Spent Month In Jail

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A Texas woman identified only as Jenny survived a rape, but she says that was only the start of an ordeal she endured at the hands of Harris County officials, who jailed the woman for a month. Click 2 Houston describes the 25-year-old, who suffers from bipolar disorder, as the “star witness” in the trial of serial rapist Keith Hendricks. The woman began to testify against him on Dec. 8, 2015, but suffered a breakdown, with the court transcript showing she became incoherent and vowed not to return as she fled. The Chronicle reports she entered the traffic outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse and was then involuntarily committed to a hospital. From there, a handcuffed Jenny was taken to the Harris County Jail on Dec. 18; she was placed with the general population until her release on Jan. 14 (she finished testifying against Hendricks on Jan. 11).

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Click 2 Houston reports that Texas judges may issue what are called “attachment orders,” which stipulate that a witness be held (or, in some cases, have to post bail) in order to secure their testimony. Jenny’s attorney, Sean Buckley, says it was inappropriate in this case, as Jenny did originally show up as requested, committed no crime, and jail is “not an environment for a rape victim.” On Wednesday, he filed a suit against Harris County, its sheriff, a jail guard accused of hitting her, and the prosecutor who requested the attachment order. Jenny is seeking unspecified damages; Hendricks was handed two life sentences. The DA’s office called the orders “a common tool” and said “in this case the judge and family agreed with the decision to obtain” one. Buckley contends Jenny’s mother thought she was being given mental health treatment in a non-jail facility.

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