NATIONAL NEWS

Texas county to pay female constable deputies $1.5 million to settle sexual misconduct lawsuit

Jun 5, 2024, 11:41 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas county has agreed to pay a group of female deputies $1.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed they were abused and harassed when a constable’s office turned undercover operations into a drunken “playground for sexual exploitation.”

Harris County commissioners approved the settlement Tuesday, three years after the women alleged that as rookie deputies in a constable precinct in Houston, they were subjected to unwarranted touching and kissing, molestation and sexual ridicule during their work in a human trafficking unit.

The lawsuit alleged that undercover “bachelor party” sting operations were supposed to ultimately arrest those behind sex trafficking businesses. But the lawsuit said those operations turned more into parties where officers drank heavily and the female deputies, who were given little to no training in undercover work, were fondled and kissed by their supervisory officer or were told to give lap dances to other male deputies.

Constables are elected positions in Texas, and constables and their deputies have the same powers of a city police officer or sheriff’s deputy. They can investigate, arrest and use force if they suspect criminal activity.

“It’s been a long road. My clients are happy to have this in the rearview mirror. It’s been an honor to represent such amazing people,” said Cordt Akers, an attorney for the women.

A spokesman for Constable Alan Rosen declined comment Wednesday.

In a statement when the lawsuit was filed in 2021, Rosen said an internal affairs investigation by his office found no violations of law or policy and that the women had never submitted a formal complaint.

National News

Associated Press

Several people shot at Oakland Juneteenth Celebration, police say

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Juneteenth celebration turned violent when several people were shot, police in Oakland, California, said. The Lake Merritt event on Wednesday night was largely peaceful, with as many as 5,000 in attendance, until a sideshow involving “motorbikes and vehicles” took place at Bellevue and Grand avenues at around 8:15 p.m. on […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Probe finds carelessness caused Jewish student group’s omission from New Jersey high school yearbook

An investigation into how and why a Jewish student group was erased from a New Jersey high school yearbook found the omission was caused by negligence and carelessness, but was not done on purpose or out of malice, the school district announced Wednesday. East Brunswick Public Schools hired a law firm to investigate after the […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting in Philadelphia wounds 7 people, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven people were wounded Wednesday evening in a shooting in Philadelphia, police said. The shooting happened just before 6:30 p.m. in North Philadelphia. The victims include a 19-year-old man who was shot in the leg, a 31-year-old woman shot in the hand, a 23-year-old man shot in the buttock, and two women […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Boaters find $1 million of cocaine floating off Florida Keys

MIAMI (AP) — Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean off the Florida Keys. Samuel Briggs II, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrote about the find in a social media post on X. Briggs posted video Monday night showing the wrapped packages of cocaine being […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Police credit New Yorkers for suspect’s arrest in the rape of a 13-year-old girl

NEW YORK (AP) — Residents of a New York City neighborhood were praised for their role in the arrest of an Ecuadorian accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, a crime that the city’s police commissioner said “shocked our entire city.” Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, 25, was arrested early Tuesday outside a deli in Corona, Queens. He […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

New law requires all Louisiana public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, the latest move from a GOP-dominated Legislature pushing a conservative agenda under a new governor. The legislation that Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed into law on Wednesday requires a poster-sized display […]

18 hours ago

Texas county to pay female constable deputies $1.5 million to settle sexual misconduct lawsuit