Multiple employees and managers at the Clark County family court are under investigation for allegedly covering up a sexual assault by a court officer (see the surveillance video below).
According to an 8 News Now report from March that is now receiving wider attention, Monica Contreras went to family court with her 2-year-old daughter in August 2011 for a routine divorce case. Her husband had filed a temporary restraining order against her, however he failed to appear in court so the order was dismissed.
Internal court documents show that as Contreras was leaving, family court marshal Ron Fox ordered her into a waiting room for an “unexplained” drug search.
Contreras said that during the search, Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claims. Contreras was adamant to the judge overseeing the proceedings that her requests to have a female marshal handle the search were ignored.
“I think I’d rather have a female in here and he went anyway. I was just offended by it. I’m just offended that he asked me,” a distraught Contreras told the judge, who completely ignored her. The video then shows Marshal James Kenyon preparing to arrest Contreras as she begins to plead with him.
“For what, sir? Why would I be arrested?” Contreras pleaded. “Can you please tell me?”
Marshal Kenyon is then heard telling Contreras to turn around and put her hands behind her back. Contreras continued to ask why she is being arrested, to which marshal Ron Fox replies, “Because of false allegations made against a police officer.”
An 8 News Now investigation could find no law that justified the arrest, not to mention that it is likely illegal for an officer accused of sexual assault to be allowed to arrest his/her alleged victim.
The marshals then repeatedly pressured Contreras to recant her story, causing her to temporarily buckle under the pressure. “Let me go. It was all lies. I don’t want to deal with anything. It was all lies. All lies. All lies. All lies. Please stop,” Contreras said.
Then in a shocking turning point in the video, Fox tells Contreras the only way she can avoid jail is to recant her allegations directly into the court microphone. Contreras first agrees, but then resumes her allegations against the officer.
“You put me in a room. You asked me to lift up my shirt without a witness,” Contreras said into the microphone. At this point, Fox says, “Okay, take her to jail.”
According to the 8 News Now report, investigators were shocked they had not heard of the alleged courthouse sexual assault from family court Lt. Steve Rushfield. After a six-month internal affairs investigation, Fox was fired.
Clark County court administration released a statement reading: “Court personnel are prohibited from commenting on the video because it’s a personnel matter. When the actions of any district court employee are called into question, the court immediately responds by conducting a fair, thorough investigation and, upon completion, taking appropriate action.”
Sources say that even though Fox was fired, Clark County courts are widening their investigation into why this incident, and a growing number of assault allegations, were never reported by family court management to internal affairs.
Watch the 8 News Now report in the video below. Another version of the video can be found here.