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7593: Haitian held at Krome fondled by employee (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Published Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Haitian held at Krome claims he was fondled by employee

A Haitian man held by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service at the 
Krome detention center said Tuesday he was sexually abused at the facility 
late last year by a computer analyst employed there.

Eddy Pierre Paul, 34, said the analyst -- whose name was not released -- 
fondled him on at least five occasions in November and December while 
suggesting that sexual favors could gain him freedom.

Rodney Germain, an INS spokesman, said the allegations have been forwarded 
to the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General which has 
been investigating sexual abuse allegations at Krome since last year.

He added that the accused suspect was an INS contract employee who was 
removed from Krome immediately after Paul complained last month. Germain 
said the suspect has continued to work for INS because the allegations have 
yet to be proven.

``We have to remember that this is an allegation and until the OIG 
determines otherwise, constitutionally we are all innocent in the eyes of 
justice until proven guilty,'' Germain said.

Neither Germain nor Paul identified the suspect.

Paul's allegations are the latest involving sexual abuse at Krome where 
several women and one male-to-female transsexual made similar allegations 
against detention officers last year.

Lemar Smith, a former Krome detention officer, is now awaiting trial on 
charges of raping the transsexual. The trial is expected to begin in May.

In a bid to protect female detainees, INS in December moved them to the 
county-run Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center near Miami 
International Airport.

``They moved the women out, but they clearly haven't gotten rid of the 
problem,'' said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant 
Advocacy Center. ``Many of the officers and employees who have allegedly 
abused detainees are still there.''

Little said other male inmates at Krome had made allegations similar to 
Paul's against the same suspect. But Germain, the INS spokesman, said he was 
not aware of any other complaints.

Little's office is representing Paul who has been ordered deported under 
1996 immigration laws that mandate removal of foreign nationals convicted of 
aggravated felonies. Paul said he has been convicted of grand theft, 
burglary of an unoccupied vehicle and drug possession.

In his statement and in telephone interviews, Paul detailed the alleged 
encounters with the suspect.

The first occurred in late November, when the suspect dropped by the supply 
room at Krome's detainee processing area where Paul worked.

``He sat down beside me and he offered me some Colombian candy,'' Paul said. 
``Then he asked to see my penis. . . . I was shocked, and I said, `No, are 
you crazy?' Then he got up and left.''

The next day, the suspect returned to the supply room and allegedly asked: 
``When are you going to let me see it?''

Paul said he laughed because he didn't know how else to react. The suspect 
then gave Paul his home number and asked him to call ``to talk about my 
case,'' Paul said. Then the suspect followed Paul into the bathroom and 
fondled him, Paul says.

The next day, Paul said he called the suspect at home to discuss his case, 
but a woman answered and Paul hung up.

The next incident occurred in mid- or late December when the suspect again 
fondled him and allegedly attempted to perform oral sex. Paul said he 
allowed the fondling because he was desperate to get out of Krome and 
thought the suspect could help free him in exchange for sex.

It happened again a week later, Paul said. Over the following days, Paul 
said, the suspect allegedly asked for sex repeatedly.

``I always said no,'' Paul said.

He did not report the alleged abuse right away, Paul said, because he was 
``depressed and ashamed of myself.''

Paul said he changed his mind in mid-March when he concluded that his quest 
for freedom was ``going nowhere.'' He met with a doctor at the Krome clinic 
and disclosed the allegations of sexual abuse, Paul said.

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