Investigators have arrested a Hidalgo County jailer accused of sexually assaulting an inmate with a baton.
Investigators with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested Detention Officer Michael David Hinojosa, 32, of Mercedes on Monday.
At about 7 a.m. on Nov. 1, an inmate was sleeping on a bench in the jail booking area, according to the criminal complaint against Hinojosa.
Jailers attempted to wake the inmate so they could fingerprint and photograph him, according to the criminal complaint. A struggle between the inmate and jailers ensued.
The inmate filed a complaint stating that a jailer sexually assaulted him during the struggle, according to the criminal complaint.
A jailer who witnessed the incident filed a sworn statement “confirming that he observed Detention Officer Michael Hinojosa push his ASP Baton into (inmate’s) anus area at least four to five times,” according to the criminal complaint.
CBS 4 News doesn’t publish the names of people who say they’re the victim of a sexual assault.
Several jailers confirmed the inmate’s story, according to the criminal complaint.
Hinojosa was charged with improper sexual activity with a person in custody, a state jail felony.
Sheriff Eddie Guerra released a statement about the incident on Monday night:
As your Hidalgo County Sheriff, I oversee hundreds of deputies, detention officers and employees everyday, of whom I hold to high standards of police distinction and excellence. I do this because I truly believe that as public servants, we must maintain accountability and trust from the people we serve, to continue the mission of public safety. I am greatly disappointed and concerned, over the actions of one of my detention officers that does not reflect our office’s commitment to these high standards.
After learning of a use of force incident between Detention Officer Michael Hinojosa, and an inmate at our adult detention center, I initiated an internal investigation which revealed violation of protocols, policies and Texas state law. I have since terminated Hinojosa’s employment from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, and also filed criminal charges against him for Violation of Civil Rights of Person In Custody.
I stand behind my promise that I am committed to restoring and preserving the public’s confidence and trust in the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. We will continue to investigate all allegations of employee misconduct, and I will take the necessary and appropriate actions to maintain accountability and transparency to you, the citizens we serve.
Hinojosa was booked at 10:07 p.m. Monday and released at 10:55 p.m.
He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Check back for updates.