Now the victim is suing the town of 4,000 residents for $5,000,000.
The tiny border town of La Joya only has a total of 11 police officers, and seven active officers have been named in the lawsuit including the current chief. La Joya’s former chief is also a named defendant.
Even after several high-ranking La Joya cops, now named in the complaint, knew about their officer’s sexual assault of “Autumn Renee” after witnessing footage from the jail’s video-surveillance cameras, the officers never transported the victim to a medical facility, they also failed to give her an on-site examination, or even a welfare check.
But they did offer her a taco.
Video footage of the savage assault was recorded on La Joya police’s surveillance cameras May 29, 2014,
Those who’ve seen the video footage say Felipe Santiago Peralez III made contact with “Autumn” 49 times, which left her with several injuries after he repeatedly forced his fingers, hands and other objects into her vagina and anus.
Peralez pleaded guilty in October 2015 to official oppression and to violating the civil rights of an inmate.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail after he was caught on video committing sexual assault.
The victim is using the pseudonym “Autumn Renee” to protect her identity, and informed La Joya police department supervisors inside the jail, she was repeatedly invaded and raped the night she was arrested on misdemeanor charges in 2014.
“Autumn” is seeking punitive and compensatory damages in the amount of $5 million dollars against the defendants, according to the lawsuit.
The federally mandated protocol requires law enforcement to immediately report a sexual assault that takes place inside of a jail to an independent department for investigation and to transport the victim to an independent medical facility for testing.
On May 30, 2014, La Joya Police Lieutenant Ramon Gonzales and Chief Geovani Hernandez reviewed the video together up until the point where the sexual assault was committed.
Chief Hernandez then ordered Lieutenant Gonzales and a sergeant to keep watching the video and left to go brief the City Administrator.
Lawyers for the disabled South Texas woman “Renee” allege that the video-documented sexual assault by Peralez took place over several hours and that high-ranking officers refused medical attention after she reported the violation to the his supervisors, who witnessed video footage of the assault.
Continuing in their legal filing, while she was in her cell, La Joya communications Officer Felipe Santiago Peralez, “began an all-night invasion” of her body when he forced her to give him oral sex, telling her to move to the end of her cell and he would “take care of her” by letting her use the phone.
Employee records show Felipe Santiago Peralez III parted ways with the La Joya police department twice since 2011 after receiving several infractions such as not showing up to work, forgetting to log-in a vehicle and working without a valid driver’s license.
But it appears his connections to the mayor, or the fact that he dates her granddaughter might be a beneficial relationship not just for being rehired with police, but when it comes down to the kinds of plea deals he gets offered.
In what some might suggest is a conflict of interest, Officer Peralez is reportedly in a relationship with La Joya Mayor “Fito” Salinas’ granddaughter Jordan, nicknamed “Pinky” Garcia, and worked as a dispatcher with the police department from about June to October 2011 and was rehired on Feb. 12, 2012.
He left again sometime in 2012, but returned to the department on March 25, 2014 and was promoted to a full-time job in May 2014— a week before the sexual assault.
Officer Peralez resigned June 6, 2014 a week after he raped the female inmate, according to employee records obtained through a public information request.
Texas Rangers launched an investigation into Paralez after an anonymous La Joya police employee, who is not identified in the complaint, reported he saw the rape on a video recording.
“The fact that local city governments of La Joya Texas and Peñitas Texas treated a female prisoner (with a mental disability) with such blatant brutality and inhumanity should outrage contemporary society.”