This is the kind of story that is so unbelievable that you have to see it to believe it. After this mother came into family court accompanied with her two-year-old daughter, she never expected to be taken away from her in handcuffs after making a simple complaint.
The disturbing incident happened in Clark County family court back in August 2011, when Monica Contreras went to court to settle a divorce case. Her husband requested a temporary restraining order against her during their divorce. After the man failed to show up to the court hearing, the request was dissolved by the judge.
What happens next is absolutely terrifying. Internal documents show that as the woman was leaving, a court marshal named Ron Fox stopped her and ordered her she be submitted to a random "drug search." Confused, she acquiesced and followed him into a room alone.
"Contreras said Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claims." reports CBS News affiliate 8 New Now.
The mother then returned to the courtroom and asked for a female marshal to conduct the search because she felt uncomfortable and violated. She said that Fox didn't cease his actions or stop to listen to her. "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," Contreras explained in the court room. Judge Patricia Donninger ignored her and remained silent.
To the mother's utter shock and horror, Marshal Fox ordered Marshal James Kenyon to arrest her. "For what, sir? Why would I be arrested? Can you please tell me?" Contreras contested.
As the woman is being handcuffed right in front of the eyes of her two year-old child, she continues to beg them to explain why she would be arrested. That's when Marshal Fox replies: "Because of false allegations made against a police officer." According to 8 News Now, no law exists that would even support this arrest and it is also highly unlikely a sexual assault victim could legitimately be placed under arrest by the alleged assaulter.
To top off this disgustingly unfair affair, the officers tell the woman that the only way she can escape jail is by recanting herself publicly in the microphone. So let us get this straight: not only are these officers claiming that it's a legal offense to report an assault, but it's also totally fine to blackmail her with a threat of arrest in order to keep her silent?
When Contreras realizes that these officers are going to take her away from her daughter, she (rightfully) freaks out. "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." she exclaims. She approaches the microphone as if to retract her allegations but instead continues to desperately tell her side of the story. "You put me in a room. You asked me to lift up my shirt without a witness," Contreras boldly says into the microphone.
That's when her alleged aggressor, Marshall Fox self-righteously replies "OK, take her to jail."
As if this mother's ordeal couldn't get any worse, while all of this is happening, the judge purposely positions her back against the woman and tries to distract her two-year-old daughter while the mother shouts "How can you do this to me? How can you watch?"
The last part of the video shows a traumatized two year-old pleading with the officers and telling them to stop arresting her mom. Contreras kisses her daughter goodbye before being taken off to jail. The two-year-old little girl was later taken to Child Haven.
Two months later, Contreras made a formal complaint to Court Marshal Internal Affairs and Marshal Fox was fired following a six-month investigation. However, no apology was ever sent to her. In fact, no one at Clark County even informed Contreras that her alleged attacked had been fired.
The mother is relieved to see Marshal Fox get what he deserves. "I just hope I did the right thing by telling internal affairs," she explains in a video where her face has been blurred. "It makes me feel good because now I know that I was right."
The other employees involved in the case are now being investigated for covering-up the incident along with a "growing number of assault allegations [which] were never reported by family court management to internal affairs." It looks like Contreras's story is one of many that may surface in the coming months.
Marshall Fox is still denying that he did anything wrong and he's suing Clark County for unjustified termination, which seems like a stretch even if he didn't physically abuse the woman during the drug search. It's surprising that he's even disputing his discharge since Contreras' arrest is a clear abuse of power. There was absolutely no reason to send that woman to jail and separte her from her child. It's stories like these that encourages a culture of silence for sexual abuse survivors, especially when their assailant is in a position of power.
Hopefully, Contreras' story of courage and retribution prompts others to come forward. If Fox did abuse of his position to sexually assault the young mother, he should also be punished with more that just expulsion from the force. Those charges should be brought in court although I wouldn't be surprised that, like many other victims, Contreras has lost faith in the justice system.
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Please sign the Change.org petition to prosecute Ron Fox for his alleged sexual assault.