Chicago Tribune and Howard Witt update story of white arsonist in Paris, Texas

Howard Witt continues his fine work for the Chicago Tribune, this time revisiting my hometown of Paris, Texas.   The Chicago Tribune was the first (national paper) to publish the story last March of ShaQuanda Cotton, the 14-year-old African-American girl from Paris, Texas, who was sentenced to up to 7 years in prison for shoving a hall monitor. 

A contrast was made between Cotton and a 14-year-old white girl who committed the more serious crime of arson for burning down her family's house.  She received probation for her offense.  

On Tuesday, the Tribune has the untold story of what happened to that 14-year-old white girl. As it turns out, she has suffered even more grievously than Cotton.

The girl also fell victim to the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Texas youth prison system, and Tuesday's story about her also reveals yet another example of Texas Youth Commission officials knowing about a guard who was sexually abusing female inmates but doing nothing about it.

Here are some excerpts from Witt's article.

Last spring, the girl attempted to commit suicide by swallowing a handful of pills prescribed for another inmate. When a guard rushed into her cell to rescue her, authorities allege, the girl knocked the officer to the ground-an assault that tacked another 6 months onto her sentence.

While (in Brownwood, Texas youth prison) the teenager-whom the Tribune is declining to identify-was allegedly sexually molested by a male prison guard, who then threatened her to keep her quiet, according to documents and witness statements examined by the Tribune. She self-mutilated her arms with a knife, carving the word "Why" into her flesh, her mother said.

In August, a Brown County, Texas, grand jury indicted the guard, Jaime Segura, 30, on multiple felony counts including sexual assault, indecency with a child, improper sexual activity with a person in custody and official oppression.

You can view the whole story by clicking here


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