HOUSTON - U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee called for a federal investigation into what a Channel 2 Investigation uncovered in the case of the mentally ill rape victim whose jailing led to a lawsuit against Harris County and the county's law enforcement agencies.
Jackson Lee called on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to open a federal investigation into the case, saying the rape victim, named Jenny, had her civil rights violated when she was jailed after she had a mental breakdown on the witness stand.
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"Today I come to articulate a situation that should happen nowhere in America," Jackson Lee said. "We have to admit when wrong is wrong."
The Texas Democrat's request follows a Channel 2 investigation that exposed how Jenny was jailed for 27 days after her breakdown during the trial of the man accused of raping her.
"Under state law, you are allowed to hold people under Texas state law. I don't know that as it is presently written is a violation of federal civil rights," Jackson Lee said.
Others, like the board president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Houston, denounced the jailing Saturday, saying prosecutors should have found another option.
"This treatment should have never happened," Alice Brink of Houston NAMI said. "There is an ultimately responsibility of human decency and the civil right of this individual were clearly violated."
Jackson Lee released a copy of her letter to Lynch Saturday. The letter reads: