HOUSTON—The parents of a teen who was allegedly sexually assaulted while serving time at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the accused jailer, the executive director of the facility and the county.
The former jailer, 28-year-old Robert Emerson Robinson, was charged with sexual assault of a child. Authorities said Robinson had sex with the teen in May while she was housed at the detention center.
According to court documents, he was assigned to the boys unit but made several trips to visit the girl several times a week. Fellow colleagues allegedly covered for him when he slipped away.
When Robinson made his “special visits” to the girl’s cell, he would manipulate her with food and candy, investigators said. At first he would just touch and fondle her in exchange for the treats, but after learning she was to be transferred, he took it to the next level.
Investigators said Robinson raped the girl the night before she was to leave the unit and, unbeknownst to him, it was captured on camera.
Surveillance video showed Robinson entering the girl’s dark cell that night.
He allegedly confessed after being confronted with the evidence.
The child said she has suffered severe and debilitating emotional trauma since the sexual assault occurred. She said she felt powerless and thought it would be useless to report anything because Robinson was an authority figure.
Her parents feel Robinson is not the only one to blame.
They are also suing Harris County and Thomas D. Brooks, the Executive Director of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department.
The lawsuit states the absence of adequate procedures and the failure to follow procedures by HCJJC staff allowed Robinson to continue his predatory behavior.
They are seeking damages for past, present and future pain and suffering not less than $2 million.
Robinson remains out on bond while awaiting trial.